An erratic south-west monsoon has forced the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to go in for drastic cuts in hydro-electricity generation.
On Saturday, hydel stations in the state accounted for a mere 8.48 MU of the total energy requirement of 55.47 million units (MU).
Generation at Idukki power project’s Moolamattam power house was restricted to 2.75 MU, and at Sabarigiri project to 0.54 MU on the day, KSEB officials said.
Hydel generation stood at 9.77 MU on Friday and 12.28 MU on Thursday. Even during the blazing summer months, hydel generation had hovered near the 20 MU mark. Over the past weeks, unsympathetic consumers also had joined a truant monsoon in giving the KSEB sleepless nights.
For the KSEB, the 2012 rainy season has been blazing mid-summer so far with power consumption steady above the 55 MU mark on most days in June and July.
Last year the same period, it had averaged between 45 and 50 MU. Power consumption during June and July has in fact set a new record for the monsoon months, which are considered a ‘lean’ period by the KSEB.
An IMD forecast that rain and thundershowers are likely to occur in Kerala during the next 48 hours has, however, brought new hope to the KSEB.
Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts, where the main hydel projects are located, had recorded 32 and 56 per cent deficiency respectively in rainfall this season. KSEB officials said 10 days of stiff rain in the right places could turn the tide. “There was a slight improvement in in-flow to the hydel reservoirs on Saturday. We have water enough to generate 703.6 MU at present, and heavy rains during the next ten days should help overcome the crisis,” said M Mohammedali Rawther, member, KSEB (Generation and Transmission Operations).
On Saturday, Kerala received 24 MU from the Central Generation Stations (CGS), but this would have been nearer 30 MU if machines at major CGS stations including Talcher and Ramagundam were not in for annual maintenance.
One unit each at Idukki and Sabarigiri have also been put on annual maintenance, KSEB officials said.