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Kerala plans for 350 MW solar capacity in 4 years

According to reports, Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) plans to create solar energy capacity of 350 MW during the next four year-period, according to Aryadan Mohammed, electricity minister.

Briefing newspersons here on Wednesday, the minister said that the initial 50 MW is sought to be generated as early by December this year.

Of the 15 companies who had shown interest in the phase 1 bidding, six have been shortlisted and letter of intent will be issued to them soon.

“We have got a good offer; the Rs 3.20 quoted is cheap”, he said. The Electricity Minister said KSEB has got offers for 1700 MW so far for phase 1 bidding.

A multi-pronged strategy has been drawn up to avoid load shedding next year and to improve power availability over the next two to three years.

Consumption touched 60 million units on Tuesday; it was 60.8 million only two days ago. This is attributable to both increased use of various gadgets to beat the heat as well as grant of new connections.

Key hydel projects, including Athirapally, that can generate 700 MW are awaiting the nod of the Union Ministry of Forests and Environment.

Small hydel projects that can generate 250 MW during the 12 {+t} {+h} five-year plan period are also being worked out.

Efforts are also on to get 300 to 400 MW from Brahmapuram and 360 MW from the NTPC Kayamkulam plants when they switch on to LNG.

The Minister said the KSEB was exploring the possibility of accessing shale gas for generating power.

The State is spending Rs 770 crore every month for purchase of electricity while the revenue is only Rs 700 crore, the minister said. Loss incurred by KSEB is Rs 200 crore every month.

Stating that 99 per cent collection has been achieved, the Minister said the government departments and public undertakings were the main defaulters. Kerala Water Authority alone owes Rs 484 crore to KSEB.

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