The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has launched measures to stave off power shortages during summer 2023, anticipating a spurt in demand.
The utility has obtained the Kerala Electricity Regulatory Commission's nod to procure 100 MW round-the-clock (RTC) power through NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd (NVVNL) and another 100 MW through PTC India Ltd as part of meeting the anticipated demand in March and April 2023.
For meeting the summer requirement, the KSEB is also planning 'swap' arrangements — where surplus power given outside during monsoon months is returned during the summer.
''Based on the load analysis during summer seasons of previous years, it is seen that the power demand is drastically increasing each year. In line with the previous years' load demands, the power demand may be much higher during summer 2023,'' the KSEB had noted in its plea seeking the commission's approval for the pacts.
The apprehension that the per-unit cost of power could go up during summer has prompted the KSEB to go in for power deals in advance. Revised projections by the KSEB show peak-hour deficits could vary between 450 MW in March to 300 MW in May.
The utility is also keeping its fingers crossed on the coal situation. During the 2022 summer, the coal shortage that hit thermal power stations across India had forced it to impose small-scale supply curbs. By April-end, the State had been facing a shortage of about 400 MW during the peak evening hours.
Daily consumption had risen during the 2022 summer season and this trend is expected to continue in 2023. On an average, there is a 5% increase in electricity demand annually, a senior KSEB official said. Daily consumption had crossed the 90 million unit (MU)-mark on multiple days during the 2022 summer, a first for the State.
This year, after a good southwest monsoon improved the storage position in hydel reservoirs, the KSEB had dropped a plan to purchase power to meet the additional demand during August 2022-January 2023. Any power deficit in February 2023 will be met through purchases from the daily market.