Power demand reduces by 20% due to Covid-19, discoms to incur losses
NOIDA: The closure of many factories and other workplaces due to ongoing crisis caused by the Covid-19 outbreak has reduced the electricity demand in Gautam Budh Nagar district by around 20% this month, which may cause a heavy financial loss to power distribution companies (discoms), officials said on Tuesday.
The discom officials said that they had signed the agreement to purchase power on the basis of the electricity demand made in March last year.
“Last year this month, the maximum demand was over 900 MW a day. But this year the highest demand in March so far has been recorded around 725 MW in a day. Even in February last year, the maximum power demand was of 800 MW, but it could not cross even 750 MW this February. The cause in reduction of demand is mainly due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and the cooler weather than the previous years,” said Virendra Nath Singh, chief engineer of Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited (PVVNL) that supplies electricity to Noida.
PVVNL officials said that the average daily power demand in March this year has been 620 MW as against the 750 MW in the corresponding period last year.
“If the demand of electricity doesn’t increase as per our estimates, the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) will purchase less electricity from the power-generating companies,” Singh said.
Echoing similar views, Sarnath Ganguli, vice-president of Noida Power Corporation Limited (NPCL), said that the demand of electricity has reduced by around 30% with respect to last year.
The NPCL, which supplies electricity to Greater Noida, had purchased 300 MW (per day) electricity to supply in its areas. However, the average daily demand has reduced to around 200 MW this month in Greater Noida, the officials said. The situation was worse on Sunday and Monday, when the demand of power recorded in Greater Noida was 110 MW and 100 MW, respectively, during the peak hours.
“The reduction in power demand is mainly due to lockdown, following the Covid-19 outbreak. We are making payments to the power generators as per our power purchase agreement (PPA), but the demand is not in accordance of the power availability. We are identifying our big consumers, who are not consuming electricity as much they consumed in the same month last year,” he said.
Giving the comparative figures of demand in the areas where NPCL supplies power, Ganguli said that the average demand of power in March this year has been 195 MW, while it was 285 MW last year.