If things go according to the plans of the Energy Management Centre, the Kalakkayam waterfalls, near Palode, will be a source of electricity to the power-starved capital city and to the State at large.
The centre, under the State Department of Power, has set in motion the process to establish a mini hydropower plant with an installed capacity of 750 kilowatt at Kurissadi, inside the Brymore estate, near Palode. The project is expected to cost Rs.6 crore.
The decision to generate two million units of power annually from Kalakkayam waterfalls at Kurissadi was taken after the Kerala State Electricity Board conducted a detailed investigation on the feasibility of the project, said an official with the centre.
The study, he said, had come out with a strong recommendation to establish the plant with minimum environmental impact and active involvement of the Forest Department, which managed the Brymore Estate. The process to invite applications from consultants to prepare a detailed project report on the proposed power plant had started, he added.
The project was conceptualised under the run-of-the-river project, a type of hydroelectricity generation whereby minimum or no water storage was needed. The government had given its approval to partner with the Forest Department, he said, adding that the EMC had started talks with the Forest Department to take forward the project.One hectare
The Energy Management Centre had started a topographical study and preliminary estimates showed that the plant could be set up in one hectare of forest land and needed only minimum deforestation.
“Since minimum forest land was required for setting up the plant, the project need not be sent to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests for approval. A study needs to be conducted only by the Forest Department,” the official said.
As per the scheme of things, he said, tribesmen of Brymore Estate would be trained to operate the plant or for other suitable posts associated with the running of the plant.
The centre had approached the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development to fund the project and a team from the bank inspected the site recently. The project was expected to be completed within two years, the official said.