Himachal’s bountiful snow raises hopes from hydropowerMarch 3rd, 2011 - 12:45 pm ICT by IANS
Shimla, March 3 (IANS) Tourists aren’t the only ones delighted at the bountiful snow in the upper reaches of Himachal Pradesh. It has also excited power officials who now expect sufficient water in rivers that feed hydel electricity units.
The state is expecting optimum hydropower generation next summer. The hills have been receiving regular spells of moderate to heavy snow since the onset of snowfall in October last year. Even the meteorological office here said this year’s snowfall was plentiful, compared to the past few years.
“The accumulation of plentiful snow on the high hills is, of course, beneficial to all the run off the river hydropower projects,” state electricity board Director Suneel Grover told IANS.
He said when the snow starts melting in the peak summer there would be sufficient flow in the rivers that would enable the projects to generate optimum electricity.
The electricity board has 21 hydropower projects across the state with a combined optimum generation capacity of 8.5 million energy units a day.
Currently, the total production by the board is around 2-2.5 million units per day due to the freezing of high-altitude lakes and water channels.
Hydroelectric power generation in the state increases in summer, from April to September, while it drops to just 20-25 percent of the capacity during winter.
Besides state-run projects, there are 13 major hydropower plants that are run either by the central government, private players or joint venture companies.
“Sufficient flow (during summer) in river will help create an all-time high record of 7,100 million units this year against the annual target production of 6,700 million units,” said V.K. Verma, deputy general manager, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd, a company that operates the 1,500 MW Nathpa-Jhakri hydel project in Kinnaur district.
Last year, the company created a record generation of 7,019 million units.
Currently, the project is daily generating seven million units against the optimum generation capacity of 36 million units.
“Hills in Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Chamba, Sirmaur, Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti districts have been regularly experiencing moderate to heavy spells of snow since October. Even this month (March) it’s snowing there,” said meteorological office Director Manmohan Singh.
He, however, added “the snowfall this winter is normal but after a long gap”.
Praveen Yernurkar, Officer Commanding of the General Reserve Engineer Force’s (GREF) 38 Task Force, said some areas in the Rohtang Pass, located at an altitude of 13,050 ft, have more than 30 feet of snow.
“This winter was unusually harsh due to plentiful snow,” he added.
The GREF is a wing of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) that maintains crucial highways in the country. At present, it is working to reopen the snow-bound 222-km Manali-Rohtang-Sarchu section of the highway.
The Rohtang Pass experienced season’s first heavy snowfall Oct 22 last year.
Himachal Pradesh has abundant water resources with a power generation potential of about 23,560 MW. About 6,673 MW have been harnessed till now by the central and state governments, private players and joint venture companies.
In the coming fiscal, the state government proposes to add more than 600 MW generation capacity with the commissioning of Allain Duhangan and Malana II projects in Kullu district, Budhil and Chamera III projects in Chamba district and some other small projects.
(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at email@example.com)
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- Jaypee's hydro project in Himachal starts partial generation - Jun 06, 2011
- Hydropower generation resumes in Himachal - Jul 30, 2012
- Protect Chenab river from onslaught, say Himachal villagers - Jan 30, 2012
- Power supply restored in Himachal - Jul 31, 2012
- Himachal rivers freeze, hydropower generation falls - Jan 16, 2010
- Jaypee's Himachal hydro unit to be commissioned May 15 - May 11, 2011
- Himachal is power-full again as generation peaks - May 07, 2010
- Hills near Shimla get season's first snowfall - Dec 29, 2010
- Still snowing tourists in Himachal hills - Mar 25, 2011
- Record generation by Himachal hydropower unit - Jun 05, 2010
- Depleting water sources in Himachal worry locals - Jun 05, 2012
- Himachal's hydropower plants shut, power shortage in north (Lead) - Aug 21, 2012
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