Local reports today from the state of Kerala, located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of the mainland, indicate Kerala State Electricity Board Ltd. (KSEB) is reducing hydropower generation at its facilities because of drought in the area.
KSEB Chairman and Managing Director, K. Elangovan, reportedly said there is a 43% rainfall deficit in the country’s southwest and northeast.
Drought in the area of Thiruvananthapuram, known as the “Evergreen City of India,” has caused the utility to produce just 5% of the daily demand. KSEB also has several planned power outages scheduled beginning this weekend through Dec. 22.
According to the New Indian Express, this week the total amount of generation at KSEB hydropower plants was reduced from normal generation rates during non-summer months of around 18-20 GWh to 3 GWh on three consecutive days.
Power for the area is also important to the entire country because nearly 80% of the state's software exports are housed in the city, making it one of India’s major information technology hubs.
Daily demand for KSEB power is presently 55 GWh and is expected to cross the 80 GWh mark during the coming summer. KSEB officials said they plan to purchase power from other power producers should the monsoon rains, expected in May, fail to alleviate the current drought.
KSEB has about 1,993 MW of a total installed combined at its 23 hydropower plants. The utility also has two diesel power plants and one wind farm and overall has a total installed capacity of about 2229.6 MW.
The organization is a public sector agency, state-owned by the government of Kerala. It was established in 1957 and comes under the authority of the Department of Power.