Only two days of coal stocks left in Karnataka, Bengaluru faces 300 MW shortage

Shortfall being met by solar, wind energy, hydropower sources

Published: 12th October 2021 06:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th October 2021 06:14 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Karnataka is staring at dark days ahead with only two days of coal left for generating power. In Bengaluru, the peak load has come down from 10,000-12,500 MW to 8,000-9,000 MW, while there has been a shortage of 300 MW over the last two days that is being managed with renewable energy, said a senior official from Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM).

According to the Energy Department and Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL) records, 12 rakes of coal stock are available at present, which will feed thermal power stations only for two days. To conserve coal, power generation at thermal stations has been limited and power cuts are being resorted to.

“We are running hand-to-mouth. But compared to other states, we are in a better position as our emphasis is more on hydro, solar and wind energy. We are getting eight to nine rakes of coal now, with each rake containing 3,900-4,000 metric tonnes of coal. We need stocks for 15 days, or at least one week, to be in a comfortable situation.

After Chief Minister (Basavaraj Bommai) and Energy Minister (Sunil Kumar) held discussions, the Central government has assured the State of 12 rakes. For the additional two rakes, we are talking to Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL). But that will come only next month. Until then, the situation is tight,” a senior KPCL official told The New Indian Express.

KPCL records at 6.30 pm on Monday showed that Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS) is able to generate only 444 MW of power as against its capacity of 1,720 MW from three grids, Ballari Thermal Power Station (BTPS) can generate 395 MW power against its capacity of 1,700 MW, and Yeramarus Thermal Power Station (YTPS), 678 MW against a capacity of 1,600 MW. Only one unit each of YTPS and BTPS are operating to conserve coal stocks. “Farmers are not using irrigation pump sets now because of monsoon. But once the rain stops, the problem will only get aggravated as IP sets consume around 20-30 per cent of power generated,” the official said.

‘Solar, wind energy being used during day’

“Now , the demand during the day is being met with solar and wind energy sources, and in the night, we are managing it with hydropower,” the official added. Energy Department officials said that knowing the situation, there are only two solutions -- buy power from open market grids or purchase coal from the open international market -- both of which are expensive. “Shortage of coal is not new.

The Centre and states faced a similar situation three years ago. But in the last two years, the problem was not felt because of the pandemic, lockdown and lesser number of industries functioning. But now with everything opening up, the problem has resurfaced. This is a clear lack of planning and foresight by the Central and state government officials,” an Energy Department official said.


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