Sunday, March 13, 2016

Plausible Excuse? - Sri Lanka islandwide power failures follow demand peak

ECONOMYNEXTSri Lanka’s suffered two islandwide power failures Sunday with demand for electricity hitting an all-time high, government officials said.

It was the third islandwide power failure in six months. Power first failed in the early afternoon and was restored before 6pm but then failed again after about an hour.

Power and Renewable Energy Ministry Secretary Suren Batagoda told EconomyNext.com that the power failure occurred when the substation at Biyagama, an industrial zone, tripped.

“The 220kV substation at Biyagama tripped. It is the biggest substation. The other substations could not take the load. There was an imbalance in the system and all power stations shut down automatically.”

He said the cause of the failure was being investigated and the Ceylon Electricity Board was working to restore power.

Batagoda said he suspects the distribution system may have not been able to handle demand for electricity which has been increasing especially during this time of year because of hot weather.

“We had the highest ever demand for power last week,” he said. “We have improved the distribution system; some lines are new but some are old.”
According to the latest statistics of the energy sector regulator, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka, the night peak generation on 9 March was 2,293.5 MW with the biggest supply from CEB hydro power plants followed by coal power stations.
Officials said CEB chairman Anura Wijepala had offered his resignation Sunday, taking responsibility for the three successive failures in six months

But it had not been accepted. Senior power sector officials are to meet Monday morning.

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