Power was cut off in the Henveiru and Maafanu wards of the capital for an hour today with the State Electricity Company (STELCO) struggling to handle a peak load in electricity usage.
STELCO spokesperson Ibrahim Rauf told Maldives Independent today that electricity consumption in Malé increased significantly with the opening of government offices today.
“We have to cut off power in certain districts whenever we are over the capacity. We cannot predict [power outages], butwe advise everyone to be mindful while using power, like keeping air conditioners no lower than 25 degrees during peak hours,” he said.
Rauf explained that normal peak hours were 10:00am to 11:00am in the morning and 2:00pm to 4:00pm in the afternoon and advised against the use of heavy machinery during the time.
He also advised turning off electrical appliances when power is cut in order to avoid damaging equipment.
Last month, STELCO revealed that a crucial 8MW generator was down at the power plant due to an unexpected failure and may take up to two weeks to repair.
Rauf said the company was trying to repair the generator as soon as possible.
A 2MW generator was brought to Malé from Addu City ahead of celebratory activities planned to mark the golden jubilee of independence last week, but Rauf said the new engine has not been installed yet.
STELCO hopes to set up the generator within a week, Rauf said, which would help cope with high electricity demand in the capital.
Government buildings, trees, public spaces, and communication towers were decorated with LED lights for the independence day celebration. Rauf previously told Maldives Independent that the lights alone required around 2.5 MW of electricity from the STELCO grid.
Rauf said today that the company has been turning off LED lights left on during daylight hours.
While the LED lights created an additional load for the company, Rauf said power usage remains lower than STELCO predicted.