Low water level in dams hits power generation | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Low water level in dams hits power generation

The absence of pre-monsoon rains and slow pace of melting of ice in the mountains has hit the power generation capacity of hydel projects, affecting the power supply situation in north India.

punjab Updated: Jun 18, 2012 16:59 IST
Vishal Rambani

The absence of pre-monsoon rains and slow pace of melting of ice in the mountains has hit the power generation capacity of hydel projects, affecting the power supply situation in north India.


ALL major and minor hydropower projects in northern states have installed capacity of 15,731 MW, however they are producing on an average 10,523 MW.

This is because of the slow pace of melting of ice, due to which the water level in most of the reservoirs is low as compared to that of corresponding years.

The water level in reservoirs of all major dams-Bhakra, Pong, Ranjit Sagar and even at Nathpa Jhakri-is below than last year's level. As a result, the state's electricity demand has touched 8,650 MW.

The Bhakra reservoir is at 1,530 feet, 43 feet lower than the level at this time last year. The inflow of water in Bhakra is 12,695 cusecs against 29,077 cusecs recorded in 2011.

Similarly, the water level in the Pong reservoir at 1,304 feet is down by 46 feet. Here the inflow of water has reduced to 2,517 cusecs, which last year was 11,083 cusecs.

"The slow pace of filling of reservoirs has affected the power generation of hydel projects. The Bhakra Beas Management Board, which usually generates record power, is currently generating less power than capacity. Similarly, other hydropower projects are also generating lesser power. We expect more power from hyrdo projects during summers, but because of slow melting of ice, this time the hydel power generation is low, which has affected the power scenario in the northern region," said a Northern Grid Power official. He said this was the main reason the northern grid was overloaded and the frequency was lower because of over-drawl by states to meet the rising demand.

The low water levels in all major dams in the region, clubbed with the delayed monsoon, has started haunting the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited, as the demand for power has already crossed 20 lakh units. In Haryana, the demand has crossed 13 lakh units. This demand will further increase in case of scanty rains.

"This year, we have got less power from hydropower generation units. We are hoping that the generation would increase and it would not only ease the situation Punjab, but would help the entire northern region," said PSPCL director, distribution, Arun Verma.

He said the lower generation by hydel projects was affecting the frequency of the northern grid till June 15, but with Nathpa Jhakri having started generating full power, it had eased the situation to some extent. "I hope that in the coming days, all hydropower stations would run to full capacity. It is the need of the hour when the absence of pre-monsoon rains has increased the demand for power," he added.