Extra power saves Kerala

Consumption hits record 80 MU, threatens to shoot further up in summer.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala State Electricity Board’s timely intervention has shielded the state in time in view of the unprecedented rise in daily power consumption. There is enough power left from various sources in spite of the state’s huge appetite for power. Nonetheless, the state’s existing supply network was exposed to be feeble to support such a mighty step up in consumption.

The KSEB has estimated that this summer there has been at least a 14 per cent increase in average daily consumption. This was never seen before. If last year the highest daily consumption recorded was 70 million units, this year it has crossed 80 MU and threatens to shoot further up.

“There is no panic as there is no shortage of power. We had contracted extra power from outside earlier and this is standing us in good stead now,” a top KSEBL official said. Last year, considering the constraints in the northwestern grid, KSEBL had contracted an extra 300 MW from the southern grid as a fall back option.

In January, the congestion in the northwestern corridor eased, and the state also received power from the southern grid. “This should have actually been surplus for us. But the huge increase in demand has offset this surplus and now demand is being just about met by supply,” the official said. The situation will turn bad if the monsoon betrays.

However, KSEBL’s network has been found wanting as consumption shot up. Substations and transformers are not able to maintain the load. As lines are subjected to overload, voltage drops have become frequent across the state.

KSEBL has put in place its usual strategy to tackle super loads: resort to undeclared short-duration load sheddings. “It’s a tight-rope walk. Now things look steady but anything, say a machine outage in a major power station, could send the whole system crashing,? the official said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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