Weak monsoon, lack of transmission lines keep Kerala power situation grim

GK Nair Kochi | Updated on July 09, 2014

The power scenario in Kerala in general and the northern districts in particular remains grim because of deficient southwest monsoon and the lack of transmission corridors to bring power from outside.

Senior KSEB sources said on Wednesday that the cooperation of the Karnataka Government was vital for ironing out the impediments in completing the transmission line between Mysore and Areekode (Kerala) to bring power from the Kaiga project and to construct a 400 KV line from Uduppi to Areekode via Mangalore.

Completion of these projects will help avoid regular load shedding in the northern districts of the State. The projects remain stalled to the north of Thrissur.

Dams depleted

The situation in the southern parts of the State is not very comfortable either. Storage levels in the reservoirs of the hydel projects as on Wednesday was only 15.7 per cent of their capacity. And at the current daily generation of 24 million units a day, the hydel generation will last only for 25 days.

The current scenario is similar to that of 2012 but that year there were good rains in July. But this year, the situation remains grim so far, the officials said.

Pact violation

What has aggravated the crisis is the violation of an agreement of the KSEB with a private generator with the alleged connivance of the Power Trading Corporation, the officials said. As a result, the State, which was to get 10 million units a day is now getting only 0.1 million units. They alleged that a scam-like operation was suspected and the issue is now before the Regulatory Commission.

As per the agreement, the KSEB was to be supplied with 7.2 million units daily till June and 4.8 million units daily from June onwards. Consequently, purchase of power from the open market has dropped sharply, they said.

The current daily demand is 59 million units. To meet this requirement 24 Mus are generated from the hidro-electric projects and 27 Mus drawn from the central grid, 3.6 Mus purchased from the NTPC Kayamkulam thermal plant, 0.5 Mus generated by Kozhikode diesel plant and 0.1 Mus purchased from the open market.

Fall in purchase from the open market has led to increased generation from the hydel projects, the officials said.

Power shortage

They said the shortage was nearly one million units during peak hours. The peak hour demand has gone up to 3,250 MW and given the current trend, it is expected to cross 3,600 MW, they said.

“We are trying our level best to avoid load shedding but if the transmission from outside the State is disrupted, we may have to resort to undeclared load shedding during peak hours,” they said.

Published on July 09, 2014

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