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Early monsoon raises reservoir levels in Kerala

G.K. Nair

Hydel power sector gets a boost


Good flow
With the water storage in the reservoirs as on June 7, 962 million units could be generated and there is an average daily inflow enough to generate 20 million units.
Last year, the water level was enough to generate only 357.26 million units.
The State electricity board is planning to meet the power requirement without drawing it from the thermal stations of NTPC at Kayamkulam and BSES near here.

Kochi , June 7

Early monsoon this year has raised the water storage in the state's hydroelectric projects to a comfortable level and with normal rains in the coming days, Kerala would be able to go without drawing high cost thermal power during the year.

With the water storage in the reservoirs as on June 7, 962 million units could be generated and there is an average daily inflow enough to generate 20 million units, a senior Kerala State Electricity Board source told Business Line.

As the onset of monsoon was delayed last year, the water level in the reservoirs was enough to generate only 357.26 million units.

Idukki's position

As against the capacity of 732 metres, the major hydel project, Idukki has the water level at 706 metres as on Wednesday. The small hydel projects, which would start spilling over after weeklong rains, are operated mainly now. Water storage in the major projects is mainly conserved and hence only four million units are generated from Idukki.

The current daily demand is 36 million units and of this, 18-19 million units are drawn from the central grid as against the entitlement of 24 million units. Generation from the hydel projects is to the tune of 16-17 million units now. However, depending on the peak time demand, the KSEB's diesel power plants are operated, the source said.

According to him, the cost of power drawn from the central grid would come to around Rs 2 a unit while that of the hydel power generated in the State would be around Re 1 a unit.

This year also the board is planning to meet the power requirement without drawing it from the thermal stations of NTPC at Kayamkulam and BSES near here, he said.

Kerala, he claimed, could manage its power system without the support of Kayamkulam thermal station. Power consumption had not grown recently as expected earlier, mainly due to stagnation in industrial consumption.

Load pattern

The load pattern of Kerala power system is such that the maximum load occurs between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., which comes to around 2,350 MW during acute summer. The minimum load occurs between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., which comes to around 1,000 MW during summer.

The source said the hydel stations could generate around 1,200 MW throughout the year while the KSEB diesel generating plants at Brahmapuram and Kozhikode 150 MW. The Central share would come to 800 MW. Thus, the total power availability comes to around 2,150 MW leaving a shortage of 200 MW during the evening peak hours.

Any shortfall in supply could be met by drawing additional power from the Central Generating Stations, he said. The pooled cost of power from the grid would come to around Rs 2 a unit.

More Stories on : Climate & Weather | Power | Kerala | Water

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