Energy output up due to rising water levels

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    May 15, 2017-

    Hydropower projects have been generating more electricity due to rising water levels in the rivers. They are currently producing 600 MW, up 35 MW from a month ago, the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) said. The plants were producing around 565 MW at the beginning of April.

    While NEA-owned hydroelectric projects are generating 393 MW of electricity,

    about the same as a month ago, private projects have boosted output by around 35 MW to 207 MW.

    The major reason behind the surge in electricity generation, according to the NEA, is rising water levels due to spring rain and snow melting on the mountains.

    As all the hydroelectric projects in the country except Kulekhani 1 and 2 are run-of-the-river type, their power generation increases with a rise in the water level in the rivers.

    The NEA said power generation would increase even more as the rivers swell with snow-melt with rising temperatures. The Kali Gandaki, Marshyangdi and Trishuli rivers, which account for most of the hydroelectricity produced in the country, are snow-fed rivers.

    The increase in energy output has encouraged the NEA to plan to cut imports from India. Currently, Nepal buys 359 MW of electricity from India from nine different locations.

    “Now we will start cutting down imports from India,” said Prabal Adhikari, chief of the power trading department. “First, we will reduce imports from the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line while renewing the power purchase agreement which will be effective from June.”

    Starting next month, the authority will be importing 80 MW of electricity instead of 135 MW from the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur line.

    The power purchase agreement between the NEA and NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN), the Indian state-owned power supplier to Nepal, expires at the end

    of May.

    As hydropower generation in the country had plunged by almost 60 percent in the past due to a fall in the water level in most rivers, the NEA was relying heavily on the electricity imported from India to keep the Kathmandu Valley free from load-shedding and minimize power cuts in the rest of the country.

    Apart from the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line, the NEA is importing electricity from the Kataiya-Kushhawa, Tanakpur-Mahendranagar and Ramnagar-Gandak transmission lines. The authority, according to Adhikari, is planning to reduce imports from other cross-border transmission lines too as domestic generation improves in the coming days.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post