Delhi power demand rises to record level for second day in a row | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Delhi power demand rises to record level for second day in a row

May 23, 2024 06:10 AM IST

Discoms said a combination of AI and ML models were used to forecast the expected demand, coupled with long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs), helped them handle the all-time high load without any power cut

Rising mercury levels in the Capital continued to exacerbate the need for cooling devices, leading to a record power demand, of 8,000MW, on Wednesday, breaking the all-time demand record for the second consecutive day, according to data from the State Load Despatch Centre (SLDC).

People flock to buy water coolers at Kamla Market. (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)
People flock to buy water coolers at Kamla Market. (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)

The previous high, recorded on Tuesday, was 7,717MW, preceded by a demand of 7,695MW in June 2022.

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Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said there was no power outage or disruption across the city, lauding the government’s efforts to provide a reliable power supply. Power minister Atishi echoed the CM’s views in a press conference held on the day.

In a post on X, Kejriwal said: “Today at 3:42 pm, the peak power demand in Delhi reached 8000 MW. The Delhi government met this peak demand without a power cut. This is a great achievement for the people of Delhi, because till 2014, there used to be long power cuts even at the peak demand of 5925 MW in summers (sic).”

He said that in the past few days, power cuts were lasting 10-12 hours in the BJP-ruled states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. “This is the reason why the BJP wants to destroy the Aam Aadmi Party. Because our work shows the truth of their failure to the entire country,” he said on X.

The distribution companies (discoms) said a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) models were used to forecast the expected demand, coupled with long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) — which allow discoms to source power — helped them handle the all-time high load without any power cut.

A PPA is a long-term electricity supply agreement between two parties, commonly between an electricity producer and a distributor. Delhi’s discoms have PPAs with over 40 power plants across the country.

BSES, which supplies electricity to south, west, east and central Delhi through its subsidiaries BRPL and BYPL, said they successfully met peak power demands of 3,511MW and 1,812MW in their respective jurisdictions.

A spokesperson for BSES said: “To meet the present challenges and to get a grip on the many varied and dynamic variables, BSES uses a mix of advanced statistical forecasting models, combined with state-of-the-art weather forecasting solutions, including AI and ML. These analytics help us build models, which lead to high accuracy planning and huge saving of man-hours.”

The models use a combination of the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) forecast, prevailing temperatures, current demand and other factors, like holidays or working days, to anticipate power demand. “This accurate day-ahead, intraday and medium-term demand forecasting is vital for optimal and cost-effective planning in ensuring reliable power supply to consumers,” the spokesperson said.

While a chunk of BSES’s power comes from PPAs, it also has significant green power flowing into the grid. It receives around 840MW of solar power from the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), and around 500MW of wind power, 546MW of hydropower and 40MW from Delhi’s waste-to-energy plants. In addition, 160 MW is generated through rooftop solar panels installed under its jurisdiction.

A spokesperson for Tata Power DDL, which supplies power to north Delhi, said it handled its all-time high demand of 2,268MW without an outage or network constraint.

The discom said that in addition to PPAs already in place to source up to 2,500MW, it also has contingency arrangements, both long-term and short-term, to meet even higher demand. “The company’s meticulous advance planning and usage of modern technologies, such as advance load forecasting and statistical and modelling techniques, as well as battery energy storage systems, are helping us meet the growing requirements seamlessly,” a spokesperson for Tata Power DDL said.

Power minister Atishi also hit out at BJP-ruled states, claiming there were several power cuts to societies in Greater Noida, Noida, Ghaziabad and Gurugram in the past few days.

“In many societies of Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh, there was a power cut of more than four hours on May 21 and 22. There were power cuts of more than eight hours in about 25 sectors of Noida on the two days. Similarly, there have been long power cuts, of six hours each, in many parts of Ghaziabad. There was a power cut of 14 hours in Loni. In Gurugram, there have been more than 10 power cuts a day in the past three days,” she said.

The Delhi BJP hit back at Kejriwal and Atishi, saying the Delhi government played no role in the discoms meeting the record demand. “The Arvind Kejriwal government has no role in improvement of power infrastructure in Delhi. Power purchase, its supply and the distribution network are all maintained by private discoms,” Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said.

He said that despite claims of the AAP government that power was provided in unauthorised colonies, there were still outages in northeast, northwest and Old Delhi. “The government is evading its real failure of providing a proper water supply in summer months by quoting discom figures,” he said.

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