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Kerala: KSEB to explore potential of floating solar technology in a big way
The Kerala State Electricity Board Limited (KSEB), in association with the Union government, is planning to deploy floating solar power generation units in a big way.
The Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI) has promised the board cutting-edge technology and support, using which the board hopes to generate power at half the cost it currently incurs for generating power from floating solar panels in Banasurasagar reservoir.
“The board has plans to use all major reservoirs for the deployment of floating solar units. The advent of new technologies and support of the central agency would help us cut down generation and installation costs. The average price for power generation from floating solar panels is currently Rs 8 per unit. It could be brought down up to Rs 4 per unit,” board chairman and managing director N S Pillai said.
Addressing a news conference in the sidelines of the consumer conclave hosted by the board, power minister M M Mani said the government was committed to explore more sources for power generation and cited the newly simplified procedure for power connection as a token of customer-friendly initiatives in the pipeline.
“By providing only an identity card and a document to prove land ownership, one can get a power connection. Procedures have never been simpler,” Mani said.
The minister also inaugurated the ‘green channel’ mechanism introduced by the board for providing power connection to HT and EHT consumers at lightning speed.
According to the board chairman, the preliminary feasibility study of a proposed additional power generating station, using the same Idukki reservoir, was encouraging.
“The preliminary report has been encouraging. We are now conducting a financial viability study,” he said. The around 800 MW additional generation the board plans in Idukki is expected to deal with the peak load power constraints it currently faces.
The negotiations between the government and Reliance over a proposal for taking over the defunct BSES power plant in Ernakulam, have remained inconclusive over the price factor, CMD said.
“The Reliance has set the scrap value of the plant at Rs 54 crore, which is currently not acceptable to the state government. The government estimates it only at only Rs 28 crore. A plant in a strategically important place would certainly improve the board's capabilities during emergencies,” he said.
He said the desilting of 10 KSEB dams were under active consideration, but it would be conducted after the desilting of dams under irrigation department was completed. “This comes solely under the discretion of the state government. The reclaimed sand, slit and the revenue from it would all go the government,” he said.