Chennai: The increase in power demand and energy consumption coincided with the easing of the lockdown restrictions and the temperature soaring past 41-degree mark in many parts of the State.
The peak power demand in the State fell by 30 per cent after the three-week-long lockdown was implemented from May 25 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The power demand, which touched 15,664 MW on March 19, was hovering around 10,000 MW – 10,500 MW in April, with the industries and commercial establishments remaining shut. TN’s demand was driven by domestic and agricultural needs.
After the State government allowed the industries to resume operation from May 6, the power demand gradually went up by 2,000 MW to touch 12,500 MW by mid-May, said a senior Tangedco official. “With the industries ramping up their production and the prevailing heatwave, the peak demand has crossed 13,000 MW for the first time on Thursday night. We expect the demand will go up further in the coming days when many industries in the MSMEs sector resume operation,” the official said.
The official noted that before the COVID-19, they expected the power demand to cross 17,000 MW in the State but now it is unlikely to even touch 16,000 MW. Meanwhile, the Tangedco official said that Chennai’s peak power demand touched 3,000 MW on Thursday night due to sizzling hot conditions in the city. “Due to peak summer, the city’s temperature soared past 41-degree mark forcing the residents to keep their air conditioners on,” the official said, adding that the State’s daily energy consumption crossed 300 million units mark to touch 303 MU, while the city’s reached 51 MU.
With the wind generation picking up in the last week, the central generation stations – two 500 MW units of the NLC Tamil Nadu Power Ltd at Tuticorin and all the three 500 MW units of the Vallur Thermal Power Plant was kept under the reserve shut down due to less demand and to accommodate the renewable energy, said the official