Supplying power for the SilverLine semi high-speed rail project will not be an impossible task for the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) even taking into account the State's rising energy demands, according to B. Ashok, chairman and managing director (CMD) of the power utility.
''It is feasible. For the KSEB, it is also a business opportunity,'' Mr. Ashok said, after the KSEB disclosed power requirement estimations for the ₹63,941-crore project on Saturday following talks with the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (K-Rail).
Given the thrust on e-mobility, the energy requirement of the transportation sector in general is expected to go up, and the KSEB is actively exploring ways to cater to the emerging demand.
Peaking power plants — plants operated when the electricity demand is high — are proposed at Moolamattam in Idukki and Moozhiyar in Pathanamthitta, the locations of the KSEB's biggest two power generation facilities, Mr. Ashok said. The KSEB is looking at 800-plus MW facility at Moolamattam, which will complement the existing 780 MW station. ''We have enough storage for powerhouse at Moozhiyar as well. The possibility is being looked into,'' he added.
For running the SilverLine trains, 300 million units (MU) will be required annually in the initial phase, and the demand is likely to increase to 500 MU after 25 years, according to the KSEB. The K-Rail's traction substation will be fed through 220KV/110 KV cable circuits. The KSEB plans to establish eight substations, and is also exploring the feasibility of 'green' energy supply for the project.
Mr. Ashok stressed the need for tapping potential sources within the State. Hydro-electric projects that are under development are worth around 250 MW, he pointed out.
K-Rail officials are also seeking a favourable power tariff for the SilverLine project. The present energy charge for railway traction (110 KV) is ₹5.10 per unit and that for the Kochi Metro, ₹4.80.