THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the state facing a drought, the Kerala State Electricity Board is tying up an additional 200 megawatts (MW) to avoid power restrictions during the 2017 summer. The state government- run power company has floated bids for supply between March and June 2017.
Of this, 100 MW is to be supplied round the clock (RTC) and the other half, between 6 pm and 10 pm, the peak consumption hours, on a daily basis. So far, ten suppliers have placed bids, KSEB officials said. ‘’We have already inked deals for long-term and short-term supply of 1,600-1,700 MW covering the 2017 summer months.
But the board decided to tie up 200 MW more to avoid loadsheddings and powercuts as the north-east monsoon has been weak over Kerala,’’ KSEB director (finance) N S Pillai, said. Interestingly, the KSEB had informed the State Electricity Regulatory Commission in October 2015 itself that the state was likely to face a power deficit of 150 MW during the 2017 summer. Meanwhile, the KSEB has started conserving storage in Idukki, where its biggest power project is located. Provided the monsoons were strong, the state could have done without additional power purchases. The deals, in fact, place an added burden on the KSEB as hydel power costs just 75 paise per unit, while outside purchases come at an average cost Rs 4.50 per unit. The power is sold to consumers in the state at an average cost of Rs 3.50.