Thiruvananthapuram: The authority has begun discussions regarding construction of a new hydroelectric power plant in Idukki dam to increase power production in state. KSEB chairman N. S. Pillai said that they have asked the production unit of the board to prepare a proposal for the project.
The plans to make a new power plant is with the intention to control flood in future as the water in the dam can be utilised maximum. However, disagreement with the higher officials is the major obstacle to start new power projects in Kerala.
Small scale power projects are not sufficient to meet the power requirements of the state. The move to start the new power plant came up in this situation. If excess of water flowed into the dam as occurred during the flood, it can only be released. After the new plant is built, it can be utilised to produce power, N. S. Pillai said.
It is a challenge before the board to raise the fund for the new plant. The estimate amount is about Rs 800 to 1000 crores. Since the government will grant a share of the amount, they need to approve the project. Primary discussions to install a system to pump water back to the Idukki dam after power production also are progressing.
In a meeting held by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission the other day, the National Thermal Power Corporation informed that they are ready to install the system, if the board cannot set up it. The water flow from Idukki dam can be controlled more efficiently, if the system is installed.
The power house in Moolamattom has a capacity of 720 mw. It can produce 1.5 crore units of electricity per day. There are six generators of 180 mw capacity. However, KSEB wants to set up at least four generators in the new plant so that 70 lakh units of power can be produced per day.
Presently, there is a shortage of 350 mw electricity during night hours in Kerala. The disparity growing between the production and consumption of power can be resolved with the setting up of the new plant.