THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The weak southwest monsoon is prompting the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to begin the groundwork for a contingency power plan for 2018 summer. The plan will include short-term power deals, inter-state agreements with neighbouring states and schedule of power from the day-ahead market. ‘’We are waiting to see how the north-east monsoon fares since it is a major contributor to the annual rainfall. Usually, the load increases by the end of February and the beginning of March. The contingency plan will be fine-tuned after September and October this year,’’ KSEB chairman K Elangovan said.
With the monsoon continuing to remain weak, the KSEB has also started conserving water in its dams by depending on low-cost power purchases through the Power Exchange to meet the daily requirement. The KSEB also expects some of the long-term power purchase agreements to be fully in place by October.
This includes a total of 465 MW of a 25-year 865 MW project under Design, Build, Finance, Own and Operate (DBFOO) scheme.In September 2016, the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission had refused to clear deals worth 565 MW citing anomalies in the agreements.
The commission cleared a 100 MW agreement in December 2016. The KSEB expects the remaining projects, worth a total 465 MW, to be cleared soon so that supply can begin by October 1.
With the south-west monsoon showing a deficit of 29.28 per cent, storage levels in the hydel dams have not risen up to expectations. Storage stood at a paltry 34 per cent on August 15, with water enough to generate just 1392 million units (MU). Storage had stood at 2065 MU on the same day last year, and 3876 MU in 2013.