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The total power demand in the state in December has hit a new peak with an increase of more than 3000MW compared to previous years.
On Thursday evening, the demand touched 14,000MW while on the same date during the last three years, it was only 10,000MW-11,000 MW. Officials said since the weather this December was not as cold as previous years, power demand from households had gone up. Also, farmers have been consuming power to draw water for samba cultivation.
“Power demand has been on the rise soon after the monsoon rain stopped. For a few days, the weather was chilly in the night and early morning, but in the last 10 days, it has been warm compared to previous December standards,” a senior Tangedco official told TOI.
In the delta areas where samba cultivation is in full swing, farmers have started using motors to draw water from brimming wells and other water bodies.
“Agriculture demand is also high this December compared to the last few years. Power demand is peaking in the morning and evening as farmers draw water for irrigation and run their motors overtime. Demand from this source alone comes to 2500MW,” said the official.
In 2016, the northeast monsoon failed, leading to record drought. In 2015, it rained heavily, due to which farmers did not use power to draw water as their fields were wet. But in 2017, the rainfall has not been uniform since the start of the monsoon though it has been quite heavy in delta areas.
The supply side has been comfortable despite the shutting down of one or the other of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project units.
“Coal stock has improved to 10 to 12 days from 3 to 4 days in the last few months. We have been able to get more rakes to evacuate coal from the mines and all our thermal units are operating to meet the demand. Beyond this, we also get solar power till 4pm from units in Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar and Sivaganga districts which have higher solar radiation,” he said.
“Many of our own thermal units as well as private units were idle as the demand was less and we had wind power. Now all these are up and running to more or less full capacity. This will continue and in the coming months we are signing agreements with northern states to swap power till the onset of the wind power season,” the official said.
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