The Energy Management Centre (EMC) Kerala has shortlisted two companies for installing hydrokinetic energy generation projects in the State with two pilot installations of 25 KW each in an irrigation canal associated to the Malampuzha dam in Palakkad district and another facility, possibly close to the lower Periyar hydropower generation facility. The selected entities will be instrumental in replication, in a phased manner, of the projects at potential sites across the State.
EMC sources said that the centre had been authorised by the Kerala State Power Department to identify the companies for the hydrokinetic energy projects through a call for expression of interest earlier this year.
Hydrokinetic installations tap the kinetic energy of the flow of the water in a stream or river, irrigation canals or even water released from conventional hydroelectric projects to produce electricity. These flows of the water installations generate power from the horizontal flow of water.
The sources said the State government was keen to address the challenge of energy production shortage in the State by supplementing renewable sources with power from all possible sources, especially from the available hydrokinetic potential in irrigation canals, rivers and streams and tail races of hydropower projects in the State.
The State produces more than 2,100 MW of hydroelectric power out of an installed capacity of 2,830 MW. The maximum peak load demand is around 4,300 MW and the demand is expected to go up by about 58% in the near future. Kerala meets about 70% of its energy requirements through import.
EMC was responsible for installing India’s first hydrokinetic power generation unit at the Neyveli Lignite Corporation in Tamil Nadu, using the water flowing from the cooling tower.