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Northern India Meets Record Power Demand Amid Heat Wave

New Delhi: Despite the sweltering heat wave gripping the Northern Region of India since May 17, 2024, the region successfully met its highest ever peak power demand of 89 GW on June 17, 2024. This feat was accomplished by importing 25 to 30% of the region’s power requirements from neighboring regions. Utilities have been advised to stay vigilant and minimize forced equipment outages. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasts that the heat wave conditions in North-West India will abate from June 20.

To ensure power adequacy across the country during this period of high demand, the Ministry of Power has implemented several measures to meet the all-time high peak demand of 250 GW this summer. These measures include:

Operation of Imported Coal-Based (ICB) Plants: Directions have been issued under Section 11 of the Electricity Act, 2003, for ICB plants to continue generating power during the high demand period.

Maintenance Scheduling: Planned maintenance of generating units has been minimized, with efforts to reduce partial and forced outages to maximize generation capacity. Plants on long-term outages have been urged to revive their units for maximum power generation.

Advisory to Generating Companies (GENCOs): GENCOs have been advised to keep their plants in optimal condition to ensure full capacity availability.

Coal Stock Maintenance: Adequate coal stocks are being maintained at coal-based thermal stations.

Hydro Stations Advisory: Hydro stations have been advised to conserve water during solar hours and maximize generation during non-solar hours to ensure power adequacy.

Operation of Gas-Based Power Plants: Gas-based power plants have been directed to provide grid support under Section 11 of the Electricity Act, 2003. Approximately 860 MW of additional gas-based capacity has been secured through competitive bidding for this summer. Moreover, around 5000 MW of NTPC gas-based capacity has been instructed to be ready for immediate operation as needed.

Market Utilization of Surplus Power: Any surplus or un-requisitioned power from generating stations is to be offered in the market under the provisions of the Electricity (Late Payment Surcharge and Related Matters) Rules, 2022, and its amendments. This power can be utilized by other buyers in the power market.

Inter-State Power Agreements: States can tie up power with other states having surplus capacity through the PUShP portal.

These comprehensive measures underscore the Ministry of Power’s commitment to ensuring reliable power supply during peak demand periods, even under challenging conditions. As the region continues to battle extreme heat, these efforts are crucial to maintaining the stability and adequacy of the power grid, ensuring the well-being of millions of residents in Northern India.

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