DEMAND FOR electricity across Maharashtra touched an all-time high of 23,000 Mega Watt on April 17, said officials of the Power System Operation Cooperation Limited (POSOCO) on Friday. The power drawn would have risen further had it not been for Pune experiencing sudden rain and thunderstorm on April 17 and 18. With temperatures soaring, the demand for power across the state has been rising during the last few days. Generally, Maharashtra draws anywhere between 21,000 to 22,000 MW during April.
On April 17 and 18, the India Meteorological Department had issued a forecast hinting that squally winds and thunderstorm would prevail over parts of Vidarbha and Marathwada regions. Similar weather was experienced in Pune as well.
Since these regions were already experiencing heatwave-like conditions, where temperatures range in 40 degrees Celsius, POSOCO had not expected a lot of deviation in power demand. It was in for a surprise when the demand dropped between 5 pm and 5.30 pm on April 17, soon after Pune witnessed rains.
“We had deployed more grids and pressed in towers with additional load to cater to the demands, which has grown since the last few days. About 23,000 MW was drawn on April 17, the highest ever drawn by the state,” a senior official said. Officials added that while there was a drop in demand by 2,300 MW within this time period, fluctuation continued for sometime.
POSOCO, a fully government-run load dispatching centre, has regional centres in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Shillong.
One of its main thrust areas is monitoring the operations of power grid systems in every region, ensuring adequate power supply, especially when the demand is high, along with preparing contingency plans in case of grid failure. The demand for power in Maharashtra remains on the higher side during April and May. The highest demand is witnessed in the second week of April. The trend usually sustains until middle of May.
“POSOCO is among the first to get signals if there is any variations or disturbances, like earthquake, abnormal wind speed, radiation, snow or fog, among other weather parameters. Monitoring these factors closely is pertinent to maintaining uninterrupted power supply,” said an official.