NEA working on plan to end load sheddingThe Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has been working on an ambitious plan to eliminate load shedding in the Kathmandu Valley, a great challenge during the dry season when the water level in the rivers drop resulting in reduced power generation.
The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has been working on an ambitious plan to eliminate load shedding in the Kathmandu Valley, a great challenge during the dry season when the water level in the rivers drop resulting in reduced power generation.
The NEA’s move followed Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s instruction to free the Valley of the dreaded rolling blackouts.
The prime minister on Monday summoned NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising and asked him to submit a detailed plan to end load shedding. Dahal told Ghising that he was committed to freeing the Valley from power cuts, and that the government would support the authority in whatever way possible, the prime minister’s private secretariat said. Ghising briefed the prime minister on the ongoing trial phase of the scheme to end load shedding, and promised to submit an action plan soon.
“Prime Minister Dahal directed us to make arrangements to ensure that there would never be load shedding in the Valley again. He also assured us that the government would take any action suggested by the authority to make that possible,” said Ghising.
Buoyed by the achievement of providing uninterrupted power supply in the Valley during the Tihar festival, Ghising claimed that the Capital would not face load shedding again. According to him, the Valley’s peak power demand which lasts for three and a half hours in the evening is 270 MW.
“During Tihar, we were able to meet peaking demand of 315 MW,” said Ghising. “We made extra efforts and the Valley didn’t witness load shedding during the festive season. So we are confident that we will be able to fulfil the peak demand of 270 MW.”
The Valley’s energy requirement during off-peak hours is around 190 MW, and it will not be that challenging to fulfil it, the NEA said. Ghising admitted that it would be quite a challenge to eliminate power cuts during peak hours. “We will have a huge task during this winter, but after that we will be in a comfortable position,” he said. The NEA has formed a high-level expert committee under the leadership of Rajeev Sharma, deputy managing director of the NEA, to study the possibility of providing uninterrupted electricity supply to the Valley.
According to Sharma, they will look for ways to optimize the Valley’s substations and distribution network which will help to end power cuts permanently.
“We will definitely have to bring additional power to the Valley to stop power cuts,” said Sharma. “Our study will check if our distribution system will be able to handle it.” Committee member Prabal Adhikari, who is the chief of the power trading department at the NEA, said that power cuts could be reduced significantly if the existing resources were put to optimum use. “Some of our substations are overloaded while others are underloaded,” said Adhikari. “Equitable distribution of the load can reduce power cuts significantly. Likewise, upgradation of the existing distribution system, including addition of new transformers, will also contribute to slashing power cuts,” he added.
Apart from managing the supply, the committee will also explore the possibility of generating additional power within the Valley. According to Adhikari, the NEA has received 15 proposals from private companies to generate electricity from various sources like solar and thermal plants.