KOCHI: On August 1, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) authorities were discussing the duration of load shedding which they were planning to impose from August 16. The water level in most dams was inching close to the dead storage level and there was no other option to manage the power deficit.
A month on, the power utility is sitting pretty as the heavy rain has led to steady inflow of water into the dams. As a result, water level in all major dams has crossed the halfway mark. In 30 days, the amount of water stored in Idukki dam, Kerala’s powerhouse, rose from 13 per cent to 55 per cent, marking a 42 per cent increase. On Monday, the water level rose by 46.5 feet, from 2,315 feet to reach 2,361.46 feet. While the state had recorded 35 per cent rain deficit on August 1, the monsoon turned normal with the state receiving three per cent excess rainfall as on Monday.
“There is no need for concern now. The water level in the dams is nearing 60 per cent and one more month is left for the withdrawal of the Southwest Monsoon. The IMD has predicted normal rainfall during the Northeast Monsoon during which we receive 30 per cent of the annual rainfall. So we will have enough water stored in the dams before the onset of summer,” KSEB chairman N S Pillai told Express.
The average per day power consumption in Kerala is 72 million units (MU). However, it has dropped to 62 MU due to the drop in temperature. During summer season, power consumption peaks to 80-85 MU per day. Kerala purchases 65 per cent of the power it consumes from outside.“The question of load shedding arises only if there is a forced shutdown in generation stations,” said Pillai.
He said though the state has been receiving copious rainfall during the past month, the situation in Idukki and Sabarigiri was still concerning, as the rain deficit in their catchment areas was 25 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively. “Still we have 60 per cent storage,” he said.
72 MUState’s average daily power consumption
62 MUState’s present daily power consumption due to the drop in temperature
Better than before
While there is 30 pc less water in KSEB dams than September 2 last year, it is still better than the three years before that.