Kerala may have to import more power this year if the catchment areas of the State’s hydro-electric projects fail to receive good rains in August, according to a senior KSEB source.
“The highest inflow of water into the reservoirs during the monsoon season is in July and this year, so far, the rains have been evasive. As a result, the total storage of water stood at 38 per cent of the capacity,” he told BusinessLine.
With the current storage, only 1,027 million units could be generated. Last year, the State was experiencing drought conditions and yet at this time of the season, we had a storage sufficient to generate 1,776 million units, he said.
In 2012, monsoon failed leaving the storage enough to generate only 807 million units in August, but good rains in September compensated the shortfall, he said.
“We are, however, waiting for the monsoon performance in August and only afterwards, we will be able to take a decision on purchase of more power from outside,” he said.
Currently, given the fall in storage, hydel power is generated in a controlled manner at 13.75 million units daily. Major stations are operated to generate only 5.36 million units while the balance is generated from small units, such as Kuttiyadi, Panniyar and Neriamangalam, having “spill threat”, he said.
The daily demand is at 61.9 million units and to meet it, 13.75 million units are generated from hydel resources, whereas 48 million units are imported. Of this, 26.2 million units are from the Central grid, 12 million units from long-term contracts and 5.51 million units from short-term contracts. The balance is met by purchases from the power exchange, he said.
After watching the scenario next month, the Board will decide on entering into power purchase agreements to make up the likely shortfall, he said.
He said the KSEB is also exploring the possibility of purchasing wind mill power from Tamil Nadu on a daily basis. The Central Electricity Authority and the Southern Regional Power Committee are holding a special meeting in Hyderabad on July 31 to discuss matters relating to optimum harnessing of renewable energy in the region without endangering grid security. A decision on this will emanate after the meeting, he added.