SRINAGAR: Can Jammu and Kashmir, with all its resources of hydro power, be able to meet its own need of power supply to consumers if all generated hydro power is supplied to the Power Development Department (PDD) that supplies electricity to households? No, because the state (including NHPC owned generating stations) generates hydro power out of its total capacity of 3262 MW less amount than required to light up homes.
As per the Power Development Department’s (PDD) own figures, the state’s Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions together need a peak 3000 MW to meet consumer demand. However, all the hydro power stations generate less than that. The state meets up the demand by purchasing additional energy from outside.
Could the state rely on its own generation if more energy is produced than what is required? No, because the stations have an intrinsic problem of not generating electricity with the same flow of water across the year. During summers they produce more power than in the winter. During winters, some stations even run dry.
A real time look at the load on November 18 shows that the peak energy load was more than 2100 MW, excluding the load of Pulwama and Shopian. These districts are still undergoing repair of transmission lines which were damaged by the early snowfall that brought the region into a power crisis. The generations from all central, state and private sector hydro power plants on November 18 was just 1600 MW, a shortfall of 600 MW. Generations from Kishanganga plant were zero on that day.
An engineer working at one of the operational hydro stations told Kashmir Reader that the state has to rely on outside power stations during the winter season for supply.
“Power stations produce optimum energy during summers while winters go dry. In any form of arrangement, the state has to depend on outside. Weather the state produces less energy than required, or more than demand, it has to rely on outsiders,” he added.