Chennai’s power demand is constantly crossing 3,000 MW in the last week of May this year as residents continue to battle hot and humid weather.With mercury touching 40 degree Celsius, city residents are turning to air conditioners to get some respite. Increased use of air conditioners has pushed up power demand.
Last Monday, the peak power demand touched an all time high of 3,076 MW surpassing the previous record of 3,027 MW on May 29, 2013. Again it crossed 3,000 MW on Tuesday and Wednesday nights as well forcing Tangedco to rein in the demand by resorting to short duration rotational power cuts to avoid tripping of power transformers due to overloading, said sources.The steep increase in power demand has stretched the power distribution infrastructure to its limits, sources added. The peak demand came down to 2,942 MW on Thursday night.A senior official of Tangedco attributed the increase in power demand in the city to two factors – one being lifting of restriction and control measures on high tension industries and commercial consumers and the other is increased use of ACs by domestic consumers.
The official said the increase in power demand leads to overloading of power cable and transformers. “The copper conductors in the cables have certain current carrying capacity and overloading would result in cable fault,” the official said, adding that besides, the utility has increased the capacity of power transformers in the substation to meet the increasing demand.The utility has also taken up bifurcation of overloaded feeders at the sub-station levels in Chennai region to optimise distribution of power and to improve quality of power supply, the official said, adding that compared to last year, the utility has received less complaints due to improved power distribution network.