Ensuring Adequate Power Supply During a Heat Wave

OV Desk

The Northern Region of India has been experiencing high demand conditions due to a prevailing heat wave since 17th May 2024. Despite these challenging conditions, the highest ever peak demand of 89 GW in the Northern Region was successfully met on 17th June 2024. This achievement was made possible by importing 25 to 30% of the region’s power requirement from neighboring regions. All utilities have been advised to maintain a high state of alert and minimize forced outages of equipment. According to the IMD forecast, heat wave conditions in North-West India are expected to abate from 20th June.

In response to the increased demand and to ensure adequate power availability across the country, the Ministry of Power has implemented a series of measures to meet the highest ever peak demand of 250 GW during this ongoing summer season. These measures include:

  1. Imported Coal Based (ICB) Plants Operation: Directions have been issued under Section 11 of the Electricity Act, 2003, for ICB plants to continue the generation support during the high demand period.
  2. Maintenance Scheduling: Minimum planned maintenance of generating units has been scheduled during this period. Efforts are being made to minimize partial and forced outages to maximize the availability of generation capacity. Additionally, plants under long-term outage have been sensitized to revive their units to ensure maximum power generation.
  3. GENCOs Advisory: All generating companies (GENCOs) have been advised to keep their plants in healthy condition to ensure full capacity availability for optimal operation of various generation sources.
  4. Coal Stock Maintenance: Adequate coal stocks are being maintained at coal-based thermal stations.
  5. Hydro Stations Advisory: Hydro stations have been advised to conserve water during solar hours and dispatch maximum generation during non-solar hours to ensure power adequacy at all times.
  6. Gas-Based Power Plants Operation: Gas-based power plants have been directed to provide grid support under Section 11 of the Electricity Act, 2003. Additionally, around 860 MW of additional gas-based capacity (non-NTPC) has been tied up through competitive bidding specifically for this summer. Furthermore, approximately 5000 MW of NTPC gas-based capacity has been instructed to be ready for immediate operation as per system requirements.
  7. Market Utilization of Surplus Power: Any un-requisitioned or surplus power available with generating stations is to be offered in the market as per provisions of the Electricity (Late Payment Surcharge and Related Matters) Rules, 2022, and its amendments. This power can be utilized by any other buyer from the power market.
  8. Inter-State Power Tying: States can also tie up power with other states having surplus capacity via the PUShP portal.