Kerala: Power curbs ruled out till June

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The difference in storage levels of dams between this and previous year, too, has begun to narrow considerably.

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It was a rain-year that subverted conventions; both the monsoons refused to show up but summer showers have been more than generous. But the unpredictable nature of the rains has finally come to the aid of KSEB Limited. For the first time in three months, the inflow into the state's reservoirs has shown a dramatic increase. From below 1 million units, it has now gone up to 5 MU. The difference in storage levels of dams between this and previous year, too, has begun to narrow considerably. In short, power curbs before June has virtually been ruled out.

“The increase in inflow has allowed KSEBL to increase hydel production, therefore reducing its dependence on power purchase from outside,” a top KSEBL official said. The inflow at the moment is better than corresponding periods in the last three years. For the last two months, till the second week of March, daily hydel generation was kept below 10 MU, at times even as low as 4 MU. Now, after the surge of the summer rains, daily hydel generation has crossed 15 MU. KSEBL can afford to as there has been a whopping 453
percent excess rainfall in Idukki between March 1 and 15.

Even before the rains came to its aid, KSEBL has calibrated its daily hydel generation to pull things back from the brink. By carefully planning the extent of daily generation from its hydel stations, the difference between reservoir storage during this rain year and last (a rain year begins in June and ends in May) is being slowly brought down. If in the first week of February, the difference in storage was nearly 700 million units, it came down to 600 MU by the last week of February. And now with the summer rains, the difference has further shrunk to 400 MU.

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