THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The heavy rainfall of the past few days may have left a trail of destruction in its wake across the state, but the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has reasons to heave a sigh of relief, at least for now.
Storage levels in the hydel reservoirs are up from a frighteningly low 17 per cent in the beginning of July to 47 per cent on August 2, Saturday. At present, there is water enough to generate 1928.38 million units (MU). In the beginning of July, a full month into the southwest monsoon season, the capacity had been just 701.93 MU. Hydropower generation has been increased to between 20 and 25 MU, meeting nearly half of the daily requirements. This has also enabled the KSEB to put on hold procurement of costly power from liquid fuel stations such as NTPC’s Rajiv Gandhi Combined Cycle Power Project (RGCCPP), BSES, Kochi, and KSEB’s own KDPP.
This year, with the rainfall continuing to be weak, the state-run power company had been forced to buy power costing around `13 per unit from these units even after the official onset of the monsoon. Two of the reservoirs- Poringalkuthu and Lower Periyar- which were less than 60 per cent full in July, are filled to capacity thanks to heavy rains, according to data released by the KSEB’s load despatch centre. The Idukki hydel project is 40 per cent full while Pamba is 42 per cent full.