Monday, March 14, 2016

Sri Lanka utility calls for power conservation

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state-run energy utility called on consumers to conserve electricity until the resumption of its main 900MW coal-fired power plant after Sunday’s islandwide grid failure, since water levels in hydro-reservoirs were falling owing to drought.

Bandula Thilakasena, Additional General Manager of the Ceylon Electricity Board, said there would be no need for power cuts since the utility has enough generation capacity even without the low-cost coal power stations.

But with water levels running down in hydro-power reservoirs, the next biggest source of power after coal, it would be prudent for consumers to reduce consumption by cutting down on waste, he said.

The hydro-power reservoirs have only about 40 percent of their capacity left which needed to be conserved, Thilakasena told EconomyNext.com at a consumer rights forum organized by Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka targeting the World Consumer Rights Day which falls on 15th of March.

“Consumer could reduce inefficient usage occurring in their homes like leaving the lights on in unoccupied rooms,” he said. 

“And please don’t change electric cars during peak hours,” he added.
CEB officials said it would take several days for the coal-fired power plant to be re-started.
"Until it comes back there may be power outages unfortunately," Thilakasena told the forum. "The public will have to bear with it."
Sri Lanka’s suffered two islandwide power failures Sunday with demand for electricity hitting an all-time high last week.

It was the third islandwide power failure in six months and the cause is being investigated.

Sunday’s power failure occurred when the substation at Biyagama, an industrial zone, tripped, leading to the cascade tripping of all units on the grid. 

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