The power supply situation in the State looks bright for the near term with total hydel storage in the State’s reservoirs enough to generate 2,217.14 million units of power as on July 10, the highest over the last quarter of a century. The installed storage capacity of hydel reservoirs in the state is for generating 4,140 million units.
For the financially troubled Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), this comes as a windfall as the total water storage can be worked out to about Rs.2,000 crore worth of electricity when compared to the situation last year because any shortage in hydel generation is replaced by electricity from thermal sources, which may cost upwards of Rs. 10 per unit.
When the Board’s petition for tariff revision came up before the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission, the projected total hydel generation during 2013-14 was pegged at 6,560 million units, the net availability being 6,527 million units, which would form less than 30 per cent of the total projected demand for 21,655 million units.
The rise in inflow and storage this water year has been due to heavy rains during the week.
Rainfall at seven of the reservoirs, accounting for nearly 80 per cent of the installed hydel power generation capacity in the State, varied between 19 mm at Pamba and 45 mm at Idukki.
However, the current water year (calculated between June 1 and May 31) had opened on a dismal note. The storage at the big dams averaged 12 per cent of their actual combined capacity and was only enough to generate less than 450 million units of electricity.
The situation changed dramatically in 30 days with the storage levels at the dams going up to 39 per cent as rainfall intensified across the State and varied between 3 mm at Madupetty and 65 mm at Sholayar. The gross storage in terms of power generation stood at 1,429.44 million units at the end of June.
As on July 10, the storage level has gone up to an average of 51 per cent of the actual capacity for the seven reservoirs, which also include Kakki, Idamalayar and Kundala. The total inflow during the water year 2012-13 was enough to generate 3,810 million units.
However, the last 39 days has seen enough inflow to add up to more than 60 per cent of the total inflow last year, helped by heavy rain, which has been measured at as nearly 50 per cent more than the long-term average for the State. Kerala so far has received 1,354 mm of rain.