Thiruvananthapuram: The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest has accorded the first phase environmental clearance for the Idukki Golden Jubilee Hydro Electric Power Extension project.
The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) can generate an additional 800 MW of power using the water in the Idukki dam, to meet the increased power demand of the State, upon completion of the scheme.
Four turbines of 200 MW capacity each are to be installed as part of the extension scheme, at an estimated cost of Rs 2700 crore. The work on the extension project, which has received the preliminary environmental clearance, is to begin in 2023. The KSEB aims to complete the extension scheme within 5 years.
With the additional power generation capacity, Idukki Hydro Electric Power Project would become the third-largest hydel project in India. The latest technology would be applied for the underground powerhouse and power tunnel construction. The environmental impact would be reduced as much as possible.
The Idukki dam has the capacity to generate up to 2000 MW of power. At present, the Idukki powerhouse, with an installed capacity of 780 MW, is being operated 24 hours for optimal power generation.
Once the extension project is complete, the peak hour power requirements of the State can be almost met at a reasonable rate. The project would raise Idukki’s total power generation capacity to 259 crore units thereby reducing the dependency on the national grid.
Following a year-long environmental impact assessment and mass contact programmes, tenders would be called for, once the Union Government accords the second phase of environmental clearance.