KSEB plans to face drought year
Ditched by the southwest monsoon, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) is wary of banking on the northeast monsoon to see it through the power crisis. Instead, the power utility has drawn up ‘austerity’ measures for hydro-electricity generation up to May 2013.
As per the original schedule, daily hydel generation should have ranged between 17.5 million units (MU) and 23.4 MU up to May 2013. Now, due to the dismal water levels in the hydel reservoirs, the target has been revised.
KSEB now plans to generate between 10 MU and 16 MU only from its hydel stations.
The KSEB had told the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) that it expects 2012-2013 to be a drought year. Besides, the northeast monsoon contributes only 15 to 20 per cent of the total inflow into the reservoirs, the KSEB had told the Commission in a petition seeking power restrictions in the state.
“Considering the present trend of monsoon, this year, the northeast monsoon also is likely to be less than normal. “Hence, the KSEB has to be more vigilant on its generation and power purchase strategies so as to meet the emerging power requirement of the state till May 2013,” said the KSEB petition.
Apart from the one-hour loadshedding announced on Thursday, the KSEB has also drawn up a detailed power purchase plan to overcome the crisis.
Compared to the corresponding period last year, the water inflow to the reservoirs is short by 1,646.5 MU, a decrease of 38.90 per cent. The reservoirs were 89.73 per cent full this time last year. This year, it’s slightly less than half of that, 43 per cent. The first day of one-hour loadshedding did not have a significant impact on power usage in the state, going by the power consumption data for Thursday.
The state lapped up 57.92 MU, which was in fact slightly more than that of Wednesday.