Power demand peaks to 2500 mw: No power cuts, assures Minister

The demand for electricity surged to a whopping 2500 MW on Friday (23) extending to the weekend making it the highest demand for electricity in recent months.This is particularly owing to the prevailing and rising temperature. Officials however, assured that there won’t be any power cuts despite this continuing increase in demand, State Minister of Power and Renewable Energy Ajith P. Perera  said.“We have enough power on the National Grid. Our reservoir storage levels are satisfactory and fortunately for the Norochcholai power plant which is functioning smoothly, we will not have any power cuts,” he said.

Meanwhile, Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya addressing an event over the weekend remarked that more attention should be drawn to solar power which can meet the rising demand.The Ceylon Electricity Board recorded an increase in peak power demand on Friday (23) to 2500 Megawatts before fluctuating to 2467 megawatts yesterday.“While the demand is expected to surge in the coming days, particularly on weekdays, we are confident of handling the upsurge in consumption and can safely guarantee that there will not be any power cuts,” State Minister Perera said.

Attributing the surge in consumption to the prevailing high temperature he added that such weather conditions coupled with an increase of 10 percent demand for electricity year on year, increase the cost of power generation.He added that for the moment only 40 percent of the total electricity requirement is generated by way of hydro power plant while the rest is generated by thermal power plants using diesel as fuel. He added that thermal power is very costly but the solar power could be generated at the lower cost.

“It is unfortunate that a country like Sri Lanka which benefits from such hot climes throughout the year is unable to generate solar power,” Minister Siyamabalapitiya said.“The Cabinet of Ministers have decided to provide solar power panels free of charge to public in an effort to popularize and educate the general public on this,” he said.

The minister made these observations at ceremony to provide solar panels free of charge to the Rambukkana Hospital. Solar panels were also handed over to the Kegalle and the Aranayake Hospitals.Minister Siyamabalapitiya said the consumer can get electricity free of charge and can sell the excess to the Ceylon Electricity Board. He also added that though a unit of electricity is provided to a household at a rate of Rs 4.00 an excessive unit of solar power is bought from them at a rate of Rs 22.00.

Minister Siyambalapitiya stated that so far the solar power panels are not popular as expected and the government has planned to provide them free of charge to institutions such as divisional secretariats, hospitals, temples etc