Kerala

Summer rain pushes down power demand

The plentiful summer rainfall has helped Kerala restrict electricity usage to manageable levels so far in April, much to the relief of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB). Daily usage did not cross 80 million units (mu) even once in the past one week, but the picture may change when the rain subsides, leading to a rise in temperature and humidity, KSEB officials warned.

“Summer rains have helped reduce the demand considerably in April. Our projections indicated that daily consumption levels would have averaged 80-90 mu if the temperatures had soared. Once the rain stops, consumption will pick up,” KSEB chairman and managing director N.S. Pillai said. According to India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasts, rainfall is expected to continue on a ‘light to moderate’ note in most districts till at least Friday.

High demand in March

Daily electricity consumption did breach the 80 mu mark on a number of days in the beginning of the month, peaking to 87.6 mu on April 9. Nonetheless, April has so far been lenient to the KSEB compared to March when the electricity demand was on the higher side. The State had set new records for daily power consumption on March 19 (88.42 mu) and maximum demand on March 25 (3,967 megawatts) this year. It is, however, pertinent to note that the previous records had been set in May 2019.

Dams 42% full

The hydel dams managed by the KSEB are 42% full, with adequate storage for generating 1,734.19 mu, as on April 18. This is slightly lower compared to last year. Power imports from other States continue to be smooth and the KSEB has tied up adequate power through short, mid and long-term power purchase deals, Mr. Pillai said. “If the temperatures had remained high, the State would have had to go in for power purchases on an extensive scale,” he said.

Kerala has received copious summer rainfall this summer season with five districts — Kannur, Ernakulam, Kasaragod, Kottayam, and Pathanamthitta — recording a ‘large excess,’ indicating rainfall in excess of 60% or above from the normal. Between March 1 and April 19, the State has received 46% excess rainfall.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 7:12:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/summer-rain-pushes-down-power-demand/article34359160.ece

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