[Himachal GK] Hydroelectric Power in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is extremely rich in its hydroelectricity resources. The state is having about twenty five percent of the national potential in this aspect. It has been estimated that about
21,244 MW of hydel power can be generated in the state by the construction of various hydel projects on the five perennial river basins no matter they are major, medium or small. Out of total hydel potential of the state, 3934.74MW is harnessed so far, out of which only 7.6% is under the control of Himachal Pradesh Government while the rest being exploited by the Central Government. The state government has been giving the highest priority for its development, since hydel generation can meet the growing need of power for industry, agriculture and rural electrification. It is also the biggest source of income to the state as it provides electricity to the other states also.

fig : Bhakra Dam on Satluj River

Himachal has enough resources to generate surplus power but, sometimes this is a misconception as in winters the power shortage overshoots ten lakh units per day due to less flow of water in rivers and at the same time increase in lighting and heating load. Due to increased industrialization and rural electrification this figure is expected to rise even further.

Completed Projects :

Girinagar Hydel Project
Situated on the river Giri of the Sirmour District, Girinagar Hydel project has an installed capacity of 60MW, with 2 units of 30MW each. This project, which is run-off-the-riverscheme comes under HPSEB and is operational for 29 years.121

Binwa Hydel Project
The project with an installed capacity of 6MW comprising 3 units each, is located near Baijnath in District Kangra. The project is situated 25 km from Palampur and 14 km from Baijnath is constructed at an elevation of 1515 mets. above the mean sea level. This project constitutes a 62 mets. long tunnel that connects trench weirs in Banu Khad and Prahal Khud.

Sanjay Vidyut Pariyojna
Located in the Kinnaur district, on the river Bhaba is a completely underground project with an installed capacity of 120MW, comprising 3 units each of 40MW. The uniqueness of this project lies in its underground switchyard, a feature that no other hydel project in Asia can brag about. Completed in 1989-90, the estimated cost was about 167 crore rupees. The total length of tunnels including those secured in after completing the project is 12 km.

Bassi Hydroelectric Project
Bassi project(66MW) is an extension of Beas Power House (Mandi District) constituting 4 units of 16.5MW each. It utilizes the tail water of Shanon Power House of Joginder Nagar project and generates 145MW per annum.

Andhra Hydel Project
Commissioned during the year 1987-88, the project has 3 units of 5.5MW which makes it 16.5MW of installed capacity. It is located in Rohru tehsil of Shimla district. The cost of the project was estimated to be around 9.74 crores, generating 89MW per annum and it transmitting to the state grid via the Neogli power house near Rampur.

Rongtong Hydel Project
Rongtong is a 2MW project that is located in the Lahaul-Spiti district on Rongtong Nullaha, a tributary of Spiti river. Located at an elevation of 3,600 metres in a snow adhered region, this was the first hydel project executed for the socio-economic upliftment of the tribals of this area. It is one of the highest in the world. The snow fed water runnel tapped at an elevation of 3,788 mets. is diverted through 2,825 mets. long channel and 259 mets. long tunnel into an open reservoir with a capacity of 14,000 cubic mets. Renovated by APE Power Pvt. Ltd.

Baner and Neugal Project
With the combined installed capacity of 12MW the projects are situated on Baner and Neugal streams respectively in Kangra District. Both of the streams emerge from Dhauladhar and join Beas in the form of tributaries in south.

Nathpa Jhakri Project
One of the major project on the Sutlej river is the Nathpa Jhakri Dam which generates nearly 1500MW of electricity. The project is funded by World Bank.

Major ongoing Projects : 

Chamera II Hydel Project
Taken up by National Hydro-Electric Power Corporation in assistance of Canada, Chamera Stage-II is a 300MW project comprising 3 units of 100MW each. This project has been signed by the Public Investment Board in April 1992 at an estimated amount of ₹1393.19 crore and 287bighas of land has already been acquired for its early accomplishment. In operation the project will produce 168 crore units of power per year. Chamera-II power project is commissioned project.

Parbati Hydel Scheme
With an installed capacity of 2051MW, Parbati Hydel Scheme is one of the major Hydel projects on the Beas Basin. The project lying on river Parbati, a tributary of Beas river in Himachal Pradesh has been proposed in three stages, Stage-I (750MW), Stage-II (800MW) and Stage-III (501MW). An agreement of execution for this project has been signed by Himachal government and NHPC on November 20, 1998.

Parbati Stage-I
The 750MW project will generate power through an underground power house at Nakthan. 180 mets. high dam near the confluence of Dibi-Bokri nullanha and Prabati river at an altitude of 3637 mets. will create a reservoir, from where the water would be fed to the turbines through 17 km long diversion tunnels. The project will utilize the gross head of about 1420 mets. and would firm up the generation of downstream projects.According to NHPC officials Parbati Stage-I has been abandoned.

Parbati Stage-II
It envisages the construction of 90mets. high dam thus diverting Parbati river at Pulgaby and utilizing water tapped from JagraiHurla and Jiwa streams. it is 800MW in second stage, will be completed soon.thos project havlot of power becoz the water flow very highly speed .

Parbati Stage-III
Tail water from Stage-II in addition to water from Sainj Khad after raising 75mets. high diversion dam at Sainj, will be fed to the surface power house at Larji via 9.91 km long diversion tunnels thus generating 501MW of power.

Gaj Hydel Project
With an installed capacity of 10MW this project is located near Shahpur in Kangra District. Non-availability of funds has caused this project to show insignificant progress. The estimated cost of this project is around 2,815 lakhs.

Some of the major ongoing projects also include:-
  • Kol Dam project in June 2000 - 800MW
  • Bhaba Augmentation Scheme, Ghanvi Hydro Electric Project - 22.5MW
  • Khauli Hydro Electric Project - 12MW
  • The state government has given some hydel projects for private sector participation which include:-
    • Baspa Hydro Electric Project - 300MW
    • Kuther Hydro Electric Project - 231 MW
    • Bajoli-Holi Hydro Electric Project - 180MWgmr group
    • Dhamwari Sunda Hydro Electric Project - 70MW
    • Allian Duhangan Hydro Electric Project - 192MW
    • Swara-Kuddu - 162MW
    • Budhil - 70MW
    • Uhl Stage-III - 70MW
    • The Hibra Power Project - 231MW
    • Malana Hydel Scheme - 86MW


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