Nilgiri II Hydropower Ready to Join National Grid

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The Nilgiri Hydropower Project, under the leadership of banker Prithvi Bahadur Pandey, is set to provide electricity to the national grid.

The project comprises two cascades, namely the 42 MW Nilgiri I and the 71 MW Nilgiri II. A portion of the 113 MW capacity, specifically 71 MW from the Nilgiri hydropower project, will soon be connected to the national grid.

Having successfully finished physical construction and testing, the 71 MW “Nilgirikhola II Hydropower Project” is now operational. ‘Nilgiri I’, a 42 MW plant, is also almost complete and should be completed by May.

Despite encountering some issues with the turbine of Nilgiri I, the second turbine has passed the testing phase. The project is currently in the final stages of preparing to transmit  electricity through the national grid.

This electricity will be distributed via a 220 kV transmission line stretching from Dobhilna to Dana’s national grid. Notably, the cost per MW of this project is Rs. 140 million lower than the current rate of Rs. 200 million per MW.

The project, situated on the Nilgiri River, is estimated to have a total cost of 15.82 billion rupees. While commercial generation is commencing shortly, there are no plans to issue an IPO to the general public at this time.

A 7.4 km long transmission line, operating at 220 kV, has been constructed from Chotepa, the site of the first power plant of Nilgiri Khola. The dam, tunnel, power house, transmission line, and switchyard underwent testing in collaboration with the Nepal Electricity Authority. The descender (sand settling pond) at Chotepa was tested by filling it with water. Furthermore, a 4,275 meter long tunnel has been built from Chotepa to the power plant in Dovilna.

The tunnel construction began in 2018 and underwent 5 audits, encompassing the power plant and dam of Chotepa. The structure was designed to divert water from the 42 MW Nilgiri first power plant into the 2000-meter-long Nilgiri Cascade tunnel.