At a time when Kerala is facing a serious power crisis, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) is looking to implement a floating solar power project in the hydel dams located in Idukki district.
As part of the project, a preliminary study was conducted at Idukki, Cheruthoni, Chenkulam, Anayirankal and Kallarkutty dams in the district. The project will be implemented in association with the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC). The preliminary study, which was jointly conducted by NTPC and KSEB, revealed that the extensive catchment area of the hydel dams is favourable for the installation of the floating solar power project.
NTPC senior managers Abhilash Kumar, Ashique Thomas, Sathish Yadav, KSEB executive engineer (electrical) Vincent Varghese, and KSEB executive engineer (dam safety) VS Balu led the team that conducted the preliminary study.
Speaking to TNM, a KSEB executive engineer said, â€śThe preliminary study found that the hydel dams in Idukki are suitable for the proposed project. The Anchuruli and Kulamav areas of the Idukki dam were found to be suitable for the installation of the floating solar panels. The nearby sub-stations are another advantage for the project.â€ť
â€śAfter we get the report from the NTPC study, KSEB will take further steps to initiate the project. KSEB has decided to encourage solar power projects in the future,â€ť the official said.
The vast reservoir area is an advantage for the installation of the floating solar panels in the hydel dams. The project capacity and installation centres will be decided after the final study of the project is done, the KSEB official added.
â€śThe main advantages of taking up the project here are low maintenance cost and easy implementation. Direct sunlight is available in most parts of the Idukki dam catchment area, which will ensure more solar power generation,â€ť said the official.
The Moolamattom Power House of the Idukki hydroelectric project has a total production capacity of 780 megawatts, with each of the six generators having a 130 megawatt capacity. If the solar power project is implemented at Idukki dam, it will become the highest power producing centre in Kerala.
â€śThere is no extra cost or land acquisition to implement the project, which is a big advantage. When the project becomes a reality, Idukki will generate more power for the state. To implement the project, we need clearance from various agencies,â€ť said the official.
â€śSolar is considered the energy source of the future. We will submit a preliminary report to KSEB within two weeks. Then we will have further discussions on the implementation of the project,â€ť an NTPC official said.