Tangedco needs to hike own thermal capacity to cater to new investors in TN

Total demand is expected to increase to not less than 19,000 MW  if companies like Ola, which manufactures electric bikes, use  its full capacity

Representational image.

Power demand in Tamil Nadu is expected to increase  even if just a few of the Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) signed by the state government convert to real investments.

Sources in the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) said as per a forecast, the total demand will increase to not less than 19,000 MW  if companies like Ola, which manufactures electric bikes, use  its full capacity.

Also read: Loan tap dries up for Tangedco amid piling debt, impacting projects

As per the MoUs signed, there are also companies which will consume not less than 70 MW each day and these companies also need power from two sources. Thus, unless Tangedco is ready with its own sources of power supply, it will be difficult to supply power continuously.

Increased demand from Ola plant

“As of now, Ola is manufacturing electric bikes in only one assembly line out of the total 10 lines. If the demand for electric bikes increases, we expect Ola to increase the number of assembly lines and the demand for Ola around will increase by 700 MW if all lines are working to full capacity,” said a senior Tangedco official.

Similarly, the state government has signed MoUs with companies which want to set up data centres. “Each data centre will need not less than 75 MW and that too from two sources (two sub-stations) for continuous power supply. If the MoUs for data centres are converted into real investment, Tangedco must also construct more modern sub-stations in and around Chennai city,” said the official.

Also read: CAG questions Tangedco’s wisdom in buying expensive power, ignoring lower tariff options

From the supply side, Tangedco is dependent on Central thermal and nuclear power units.

“Before Ola starts to use its full capacity or data centres start working fully, we must increase the power supply sources. By September our 800 MW North Chennai third unit will start generating power. This will be a big relief for Tangedco. Beyond this, we are hopeful of increasing the solar power capacity. By next year or in 2024, Unit 3 of Kudankulam will be commissioned and that will provide us with not less than 500 MW,” said the official.

High debt

Tangedco’s debt is one big issue which prevents it from getting loans from finance companies for new thermal units.

Also read: Tangedco maps its assets, 3.17 crore consumers using GIS

“Work in the two units at Udangudi with a total capacity of 1300 MW is going on after nearly two years. More than 2,500 workers are involved in these two units and in the next two years, the units will be ready for generating power,” said the official.

Also read: Facing shortage, Tangedco mulls alternatives to improve coal supply

There is a big urgency to increase Tangedco’s own thermal capacity. “At any time, we can bring only 4000 MW of power from any state. This will not be enough if the new companies start to work and there is a big urgency to increase new sources of power supply like solar and wind,” said the official.

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