According to a top official in the power department, "In case of a shortfall in power availability, discoms can either overdraw from the Northern Grid or buy power from the power exchange. However, with the frequency of the Grid running below normal, the first option is negated. So analysing the situation, they should exercise the second option and buy power from the exchange at the best price available," the official said.
The apathy of the discoms could be gauged from the fact that despite DERC's guidelines facilitating the discoms to purchase power at higher rates than `5 per unit in emergency situations, the discoms have completely failed to make use of it. The Capital continued to reel under power shortage on Tuesday with several areas going without electricity for more than four hours. The city received power shortage to the tune of around 1,100 mega watt from various power stations, including NTPC's Dadri (Uttar Pradesh), Singrauli (Madhya Pradesh), Farakka (West Bengal) and Kahalgaon (Bihar) power plants. Interestingly, the officials of discoms BSES and NDPL admitted having knowledge of the said clause but said they were not aware if any quantity of power was purchased.
Delhi's current power demand fluctuates between 3,200 MW to 3,700 MW. The city on an average produces 1,100 MW on its own while the remaining amount is supplied by generating stations outside the city. Delhi Power Minister Harun Yusuf said the situation has become more difficult for Delhi due to overdrawing of power in the range of 1100-2,000 MW from Northern Grid by Uttar Pradesh, which is forcing the city to resort to load-shedding to maintain frequency of the grid. The disruption in water supply from Agra canal to Delhi's gas turbine plant at Badarpur as well as cut in generation at Rajghat plant have also compounded the problem.
The city got around 900 MW from these two plants against their full capacity of 1,400 MW. Delhi usually gets 1,400 MW from NTPC's Dadri plant but in the last five days the supply has been in the range of 300 to 800 MW. This collectively led to load-shedding in areas like Defence Colony, Greater Kailash, Hauz Khas, Vasant Vihar, Vasant Kunj, Dwarka, Janakpuri, Lazmi Nagar, Geeta Colony, Civil Lines and Mukherjee Nagar among others. Delhi's Power Minister, Haroon Yusuf, who was the chief guest with the Industries Minister, Ramakant Goswami at a Kavi Sammelan at Gandhi Peace Foundation on Tuesday, had to face power cut. According to a source present at the congregation, power supply tripped at the venue twice and the organizers had to resort to candle lights to carry on the function.
It is noteworthy, that since October 5, when the power crisis hit the city, the distribution companies have been blaming the generating companies, shortage of coal and Telangana agitation for the power crunches in the Capital. The situation seemed to have spiraled out of control on its seventh day on Tuesday, as frequent loadshedding and even blackouts were reported from several areas, but no solution was on the offing. "The discoms are not commercially analyzing the situation and resorting to loadshedding, which is hurting the consumer. They can't even overdraw from the Grid as they will be penalized heavily at the present situation," added the power department official.
As per the discom officials, the demand and supply gap at one point on Tuesday reached 1100 MW. This explains the pinching loadshedding in the Capital. "The demand reaches its peak during the official hours from 9 am to 6 am and then later in the evening after 7 pm to 11pm. We have to resort to rotational loadshedding at these peak hours," added a discom spokesperson.
The power official added, "Even during the current situation, there are some lean hours (1 am to 8am), when the discoms have surplus power available with them. They trade this surplus power in the market and earn money. The money earned from this trading can be used to buy power from the exchange, instead of tormenting the customer with outages."
Yusuf expressed a concern on declining frequency of the Northern Grid, which should be above 50.2 Hz but reached 49.67 Hz on Monday and 49.47 on Tuesday. He said, "Uttar Pradesh has been overdrawing around 1200 MW per day, more than their allotted quota. This is due to the ongoing elections in the state."
Source - Daily pioneer