Nation Other News 06 Jun 2017 Kerala State Electri ...

Kerala State Electricity Board plays safe with hydel power

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Jun 6, 2017, 2:25 am IST
Updated Jun 6, 2017, 2:25 am IST
It has drawn down hydel generation to the lowest possible minimum fearing a contingency.
Kerala State Electricity Board
 Kerala State Electricity Board

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Despite a strong start to the southwest monsoon, KSEB Limited seems to have decided to err on the side of caution. It has drawn down hydel generation to the lowest possible minimum fearing a contingency: what if like last year the monsoon hisses, sputters and then suddenly fall silent? It has also not helped that Idukki district, which houses the state’s biggest dam, has not received adequate rainfall. Low hydel generation has also forced KSEBL to purchase 3.5 million units from Kayamkulam NTPC, a plant from which it had refused to take power for nearly three years. NTPC power costs a prohibitive Rs 7.27 per unit.

KSEB Limited will wait for at least the middle of June to step up hydel generation. If last year same time, when the monsoon had shown clear signs of betrayal, hydel generation was 15 MU, now it is down to 5 MU. “There has been no inflow into the catchment area,” said Brijlal V., KSEBL chief engineer in charge of generation. “Even five days after the start of the monsoon, the water level in the Idukki reservoir is just 10 per cent. This is so low that increasing hydel generation in the plant even by a notch could be dangerous as we might hit upon silt at the bottom of the reservoirs,” he added. In fact, the water level in all the reservoirs put together is only 36 per cent. 

 

Hydel generation is at its lowest level but still inflow, even during this monsoon, has still not managed to replenish the used up water in the reservoirs. However, what has come to the aid of KSEBL is the dramatic reduction in daily power consumption. From a high of 77-78 million units a day in the middle of May, it has now come down to below 60 MU. “Truth is if there was a high demand we could not have sustained our low hydel generation,” Mr Brijlal said.

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Location: India, Kerala




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