Downpour brings down electricity demand by 40%
The widespread rain in the state, which has provided relief from scorching heat, has also relieved the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), as the power demand in the state has dipped by 40%.
The power demand, which was hovering around 10,500 MW (2,500 lakh units) on Monday, dipped to around 6,500 MW (approx 1,600 lakh units) on Thursday. Due to the dip in the demand, the PSPCL has shut down all its three power generation units to save coal. The private units in Punjab are also operating at half the capacity.
Director (distribution) NK Sharma said that the peak demand has dipped to 6,500 MW, which is a relief for the PSPCL. “Due to dip in demand, the PSPCL has shut down its Ropar, Bathinda and Lehra Mohabbat units, as central allocations, hydel power and private plants are capable to meet the demand,” he said, adding that another spell of rain will further ease PSPCL.
Against a capacity of 3,600 MW units, private thermal plants were producing only 1,200 MW, as the GVK Power Plant, Goindwal Sahib, was also shut down due to lower demand. Apart from this, 480 MW were met through hydro power, and the rest 4,500 MW from central allocations.
He said though the PSPCL has made arrangements of meeting 12,000 MW of peak load, but rain is always a welcome, as it helps to conserve the coal of thermal plants. “Due to rain in central India, the power is cheaper now, and if we are able to purchase power at the lower rate, the stateowned power plants will remain shut for some more time. The PSPCL purchases power only on merit,” said a power official. As per information, the PSPCL shut down its units on Wednesday evening due to decrease in temperature.
The meteorological department has also predicted another spell of pre-monsoon rain by the end of this week, while monsoon will reach Punjab by July 7. A good monsoon will save almost ₹1,000 crore of PSPCL, which purchases power to meet the rising power demand for paddy sowing.
Paddy growers are also happy with rain. The rain, coupled with PSPCL power supply, has helped flood the fields for paddy sowing. Another spell of rain will help farmers to sow the paddy. If there is no rain this week, the power demand will again shoot up because of humidity and heat, said Baldev Singh, a farmer of Sanaur.