After an abortive attempt to find out potential bulk customers for the surplus hydel power it generates during the off peak hours, Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has hit a jackpot this time. The board has signed agreement with National Thermal Power Corporation's trading arm NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Limited (NVVN) for the sale of 400 MW power for a month from October 1 at the rate of Rs 4.35 per unit. As per the deal finalized on Saturday, the board would be able to rake in around Rs 835 crore in a month.
"We have inked an agreement with NVVN. The NVVN participated in the bid with an objective to sell off the same to nearby Tamil Nadu, which is reeling under acute power shortage following a sudden and sharp dip in the wind energy production," sources in the board said. Ever since the onset of heavy monsoon in June this year, the hydel stations of KSEB is running on its full potential and the board has been selling power during off peak hours through exchanges at varied rates on a daily basis.
"Though we have inked an agreement for power sale, we are still purchasing power at the rate of Rs 4.17 and Rs 4.27 as per the contracts we had signed earlier. Hence, the actual financial gain from the sale of power during off peak hours would be only nominal," said KSEB chief engineer (commercial and tariff), D Dinesh. The board has sold power worth Rs 65 crore since June this year.
Since the water level in Idukki dam has almost touched the full reservoir level, the Moolamattom power house is running in full blast. With all six machines running round the clock, the power generation from Idukki alone has touched 18 mu in the last few weeks. According to sources in the board, the decision to generate maximum power from Idukki was taken with an aim to reduce the water level in the dam below 90% of its capacity and thus make room for storage of more water in the north east monsoon, which is set to arrive the state in the month of October. At present, Idukki dam is 96% full.
The bid from NVVN has come as a major financial respite to the board, which had been selling off peak power at oscillating rate of less than Rs 2.50 to Rs 3.50 per unit. Though the board had invited bids for sale of 200MW power during off peak hours during September, KSEB had to scrap the tender for want of satisfactory bids for power available from 11 pm to 6 pm ( off peak hours).