Candlelight dinners may become less a romantic option and more a practical necessity for the remainder of October and November in Bali as the State Electricity Board (PLN) warns that a series of daily rotating blackouts will be introduced for 56 days starting from October 10, 2009.
PLN has confirmed that scheduled maintenance at the gas-fired powered Gilimanuk generation plant will result in a loss in generating capacity, leaving Bali with only 432 megawatts (MW) of total power, an amount well short of the island's peak energy appetite of 490MW consumed during peak evening periods.
Faced with inevitable energy shortfalls until maintenance is completed at Gilimanuk, PLN is responding by asking people to reduce power consumption and scheduling rotating blackouts on a daily basis that will "share the pain" of the energy crisis.
Blackouts will be introduced between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. in "designated area" throughout the nearly two month period.
PLN officials are being asked to reduce consumption by a minimum of 100 watts during peak evening consumption periods.
Nearly all major hotels and resorts in Bali and many major restaurants and businesses have 100% back-up generating capacity supplied by on-site gensets. As a result, many visitors may be unaware of the blackouts that are expected to most severely inconvenience private home owners and small businesses on the island.
Operations at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport will not be affected by the rotating blackouts.
Bali's Governor Made Mangku Pastika is asking the public to reduce power consumption and exercise patience in confronting the frequent blackouts in the weeks ahead.
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