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Bali's Electricity Crisis

May Balinese Live in the Dark, Unable to Obtain a Connection to the Bali's Power Supply.

(4/17/2010) Bali's severe shortage of electrical power is perhaps best exemplified by the grim statistic that 50,000 requests for new connection and 8.900 requests for increased power capacity remain outstanding and unserved.

Kompas quoted the State Electrical Board (PLN) spokesman, Agung Mastika, who estimates that an additional 200 megawatts of power is needed to bring power to the 50,000 households that remain non-electrified.

Bali's current electrical loading of 562 megawatts originates from power substations at Gilimanuk (130 MW), Pemaron (80 MW), Pesanggaran (152 MW) and via submarine cables bringing power form the Java power grid (200 MW). Whenever Bali's power requirements exceed 520 megawatts brownouts tied to load distribution issues are certain to arise.

Many of those seeking a first-time connection to PLN are Balinese living in simple housing in search of only 900 -1,300 KVA of power to drive basic lighting and small appliances.

Efforts to address Bali's severe power crisis has encountered difficulties on almost every front. A geothermal steam-powered generation system started in Buleleng, North Bali, in 2008 remains plagued by land acquisition problems. Other efforts to add more submarine cables between Java and Bali to connect to high-voltage electrical lines is threading its way through objections raised by those fearful of the environmental impact of installing power lines through Bali's environmentally delicate national park.