Although three or four of the 5 210 MW coal-fired thermal power generation units of the Tuticorin Thermal Power Plant (TTPS) are shut down during the day, the TTPS administration operates all units at night to meet demand. electricity after dusk.
Even though TTPS officials claim that three or four of TTPS’ five coal-fired thermal power units were shut down during the day due to “excessive solar power generation” in Tamil Nadu, sources confide here that the significant decrease in the supply of coal was the reason for the shutdown of the units during the day.
After the complete overhaul of the five old units of TTPS, each unit with an installed capacity of 210 MW has reached its maximum power generation capacity. When coal shortage hit thermal power plants in Tamil Nadu, TTPS was also hit hard, forcing officials to shut down three or four of TTPS’ five units in the past month.
As the TTPS has started receiving a decent amount of coal over the past few days through trains and ships, the power generation has improved a lot. However, the TTPS, in an effort to save coal and make optimal use of the solar energy generated during the day, shuts down some of the units during the day and restarts all the units in the evening.
When the first TTPS unit operated on its own on Friday and the remaining four units were shut down, officials said the huge solar power generation forced them to shut down the four TTPS units, which were used one by one. after 2 p.m. on Friday. By 5 p.m., the cumulative generation of TTPS had exceeded the power of 1,000 MW.
“There is no shortage of coal now as we now have 40,000 tons of coal in our storage yard. A ship with 60,000 tons of coal has been moored in the VOC port. Therefore, it is not no more coal shortages now,” a senior TTPS official said.
However, other sources said that Tangedco manages the situation with solar power during the day and starts operating coal-fired power plants in the afternoon or evening when solar power generation gradually decreases.
“Since the influx of coal has decreased in the recent past, most of our units sit idle during the day with solar power coming to our rescue. Solar power saves us a huge amount of coal during therefore, we shut down these units during the day and restart them in the afternoon or evening,” TTPS sources said.
He also said that the frequent shutdowns and restarts of the units would not cause major technical problems in the plant. “For the restart of the factory, we use fuel oil as fuel initially before switching to coal and this entails an additional expense of only 20 paise per unit. While electricity is available in the open market at ₹12 per unit, our production cost is only ₹3.80,” the sources said.