Kochi: The Peruthenaruvi hydel electricity project with an installed capacity of 6-MW near Ranni in Pathanamthitta district is yet another manifestation of lopsided priorities followed by Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB).
The project completed three years after the originally scheduled date has also incurred cost overruns, says N.S. Alexander, former deputy drug controller and RTI activist.
The project, which has also received financial assistance from the Union ministry of new and renewable energy, completed nearly five and half years after commencing the work had incurred a cost of Rs 67.90 cr. The cost works out to be more than Rs 10 cr per MW which is almost double the amount for solar power generation, Mr Alexander said.
The cost for solar power works out to be Rs 5 crore for 1 MW and a six MW project would have cost only Rs 30 crore, he pointed out. “The solar project would have taken much lesser time for completion as well as providing stable power supply,” he said.
The power generation in Perumthenaruvi project depends solely on the availability of water and during summer months generationwill be almost nil, he said. Solar project on the other hand provides power throughout the year. The KSEB needed to think about the solar energy in a big way instead of taking up such hydro projects, Alexander said. A similar project in Vellathuval, commenced in 2012 is not yet over, he pointed out.
The 3.6 MW project was originally scheduled to be completed in June 2014. The project was originally estimated to cost around Rs 35.32 cr.