The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has set a load shedding protocol, to be adopted by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (Tangedco) in case of power shortage.
The move comes after a slew of petitions filed by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Consumers’ Association, the Coimbatore District Small Scale Industries’ Association and the Federation of Consumer and Service Organisations, requesting that load shedding be executed in a fair and equitable manner across the State, including in Chennai.
The petitions were filed when there was unscheduled load shedding in the State due to high power deficit between 2012-2014. The State had imposed restriction and control measures, but they were removed in 2015. “The petitioners have furnished data that show unscheduled load shedding of more than 3 hours, which went up to 10 to 12 hours in most parts of the State other than Chennai. The data furnished by the petitioners relate to the period of high deficit in availability of power,” the TNERC said.
Tangedco said that since the withdrawal of the restriction and control measures, it was able to meet the demand with its available power. An average demand of 14,800 MW to 15,300 MW was being managed for the past one year without any difficulty and the restrictions and control measures situation would not occur due to the planned addition of generation capacities, it said.
However, the TNERC wanted a protocol to be followed during exigencies. “Tangedco has submitted 10 feeder groupings (four for rural feeders and six for urban groups). They have also created another category that feeds all corporations, including Greater Chennai, into six groups,” it said.
The TNERC said separate feeders need to be established for supplying power to Corporations other than those for the urban group. It directed Tangedco to consider segregating feeder groupings in Corporation areas and feeding of essential services.
It said for unforeseen outages and when there was a mismatch between demand and supply, up to 4% of average demand, supply to each rural and urban group should be restricted by 30 minutes/1 hour on rotation depending on the duration of shortage. It also suggested grouping sequence in case the power deficit went beyond 4% of average demand. “The Greater Chennai, excluding government machinery and essential services, will have load shedding for 30 minutes,” it said.
“Supply to hospitals may be exempted in the State. Supply to other essential/emergency services like water supply may be restricted to a minimum level,” the TNERC said.
For any deviations from the approved R&C measures, Tangedco should take prior approval of the regulator, it said. “The Commission agrees with the concerns expressed by the petitioners that load shedding has to be executed in a fair and equitable manner across the State but also acknowledges that load shedding in the State capital has to be carefully done so that there is no breakdown in the functioning of the State machinery,” the TNERC said.