EghtesadOnline: Following its calls to reduce power consumption and avoid outages in the hot summer months, the state-run Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir) has signed 250,000 contracts with heavy consumers (industrial and farming communities) to shift consumption from on-peak to off-peak hours, head of company’s distribution department said.
“Consumption could reduce by at least 5,000 megawatts (during peak hours) on the condition that industries and farmers uphold their commitment with Tavanir,” Gholamali Rakhshaki-Mehr was quoted as saying by ILNA.
Industries and the agro sector account for 55% or 32,000 MW (per day) of the total power consumption that is now above 58,000 MW and rising, he noted, adding that those who comply with the policy will be eligible for discount in billing. He did not elaborate.
In 2018 and 2019, as per Tavanir’s contracts with 100,000 farmers and industry owners, those who turned off their water pumps and electricity-intensive tools between 12 pm to 6 pm got discounts.
The policy helped cut consumption in the key agro sector by 2,000 MW.
The official expressed the hope that the same plan can help meet power demand without major problems in the next two months when consumption is expected to reach 60 gigawatts.
He reiterated that the national grid cannot carry a load higher than 58 GW and that is why rolling blackouts (load shedding) have started to compensate the shortfall.
Consumption peaked to an all-time high of 58,280 megawatts on Tuesday, up 2,000 MW compared to the same day in 2019. Last year the highest registered peak demand was 57,800 MW.
“Whether or not power cuts will continue (until September) depends on consumption levels.”
Rakhshaki-Mehr said convincing the people to adhere to the demand of wisdom (by giving them discounts in billing) could help meet growing demand without more hassles.
As per law, subscribers in cities with relatively moderate climate should use less than 300 kWh a month to be eligible for a discount, but in the hot southern provinces like Khuzestan the same ceiling is 1,200 kWh per month.
In related news, ILNA quoted Mohsen Tarztalab, managing director of Iran's Thermal Power Plants Holding Company as saying that installed power capacity has risen by 2,000 MW since 2019.
“Despite the heavy load, all 123 power stations are functioning and the necessary contingencies are in place.”
When average temperature rises by 1 degree Celsius, power consumption jumps up by about 1,800 MW. The mercury in Tehran and other cities with relatively moderate climate has been around 38 degrees Celsius in the past several days and the weatherman has forecast more heat for the weekend. Khuzestan is sizzling with 51 degrees heat and state organizations and companies have been shut.
Tarztalab, however, added that current power cuts are not and will not be as frequent as in 2018 because back then water level in dams were low and the maximum hydro power capacity was 4,000 MW.
Hydropower plants now account for 20% or 12,000 MW of the total output of 58,000 MW.