The power scenario in Kerala remain critical, with the peak hour power consumption continuing to be above the 3,000-MW mark and the state's share of power from the Kudankulam atomic power plant remaining suspended.
The state power utility has been depending on minor power restrictions as well as costly power to manage the situation. The shutdown of the Kudankulam plant following technical glitches while preparations were being taken to commence its commercial operation during October has cut down the state's power allocation from the central agencies by around 133MW.
"The Kudankulam plant is expected to resume operations only after a couple of months. Kerala used to get 150MW power from this atomic plant in Tamil Nadu, including an unallocated share of 17MW. We are now running the show by depending heavily on power purchased from power exchange on a day-to-day basis. The rate for power from the exchange is around Rs 12/unit nowadays. However, we are facing a new challenge in the unavailability of power corridors due to various reasons to bring the power we contract from traders through the exchange," a senior KSEB official said.
Meanwhile, the central electricity regulatory commission on Monday completed the hearing on a petition filed by the KSEB against the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCL) in New Delhi. The regulator has so far took a lenient view of the KSEB petition, which questioned the rationale behind the PGCL's decision to decline its request for power corridor to bring 400MW power while allocating the same to Tamil Nadu that placed a request much later.
The PGCL decision in June has virtually derailed the state power utility's plans to source cheaper power to address the deficit.
The KSEB could tide over the crisis after the central regulator scrapped the PGCL decision and ordered status quo.
The state faces a deficit of around 250-300MW during peak hours now. The board has been availing 150MW power from the Kayamkulam NTPC, for which it spends around Rs 4 crore a day.