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Earth Hour and weather effect: Power demand down 1000 MW

The Capital’s power demand fell by 1,000 MW on Saturday,according to the State Load Dispatch Centre. The “phenomenal” dip is attributed to the Earth Hour observed by Delhi on Saturday evening and the rain that brought the mercury down by a few notches.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
March 30, 2009 2:55:57 am

The Capital’s power demand fell by 1,000 MW on Saturday,according to the State Load Dispatch Centre. The “phenomenal” dip is attributed to the Earth Hour observed by Delhi on Saturday evening and the rain that brought the mercury down by a few notches.

As Delhi joined over 2,000 cities worldwide to observe Earth Hour by switching off lights between 8.30 and 9.30 pm,the cool weather made it a sweat-free experience. “The dip in temperature ensured a drop in power demand too. Coupled with the electricity saved during the Earth Hour,it brought down Delhi’s total consumption by over 1,000 MW,” said a senior official of the power department. While the department is yet to ascertain as to exactly how much power did the Earth Hour save,officials estimate it to be 250 to 300 MW. “I was monitoring the situation last evening and there was a considerable dip in demand. We have to also take into account the cool weather on Saturday,” said Power Secretary Rajendra Kumar.

He added that power distribution companies played a big role in spreading awareness about Earth Hour.

“On Saturday,we sent out over 6 lakh text messages,” said a BSES spokesperson. Resident welfare associations (RWAs) were roped in too. “We held workshops for various RWAs and requested them to observe Earth Hour,” said an NDPL spokesperson. The distribution companies are certainly overwhelmed by the response they received. “In the areas we cater to,power demand fell from 800-900 MW on a normal day to about 500 MW. It certainly appears that our consumers rose to the occasion,” said Sunil Wadhwa,CEO,NDPL.

Sources in the power department said they had informed the Northern Grid to expect a serious dip in consumption. “A sudden dip in the consumption of power poses a danger. The grid may trip and fail. We had therefore issued instructions to the load dispatch centres and the Northern Grid to ensure all steps were taken to avoid this,” a senior official explained.

Mercury dips,Met dept predicts more rain

After touching 32 degrees Celsius in the first half of March,the mercury has come several notches down after almost five days of rain. The Met department predicts more rain in the next few days. With 0.8 mm rain being recorded on Sunday,Delhi has witnessed close to 8.6 mm rain since Wednesday. “Western disturbances caused by the wind blowing from the Arabian Sea are responsible for the showers,” says an official of the Safdarjung Met department. He predicts a cloudy sky,with thundershowers and squall,for Monday.

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