Nepal added 492 MW Electricity to the national grid last year

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The country has added less electricity to the national grid in the fiscal year 2022/23 compared to the fiscal year 2021/22. Around 492 MW of electricity has been added to the national grid in the last fiscal year. A total of 735 MW of electricity was added to the national grid in FY 2021/22.

With electricity generated from more than 27 power projects being connected to the national transmission system in the last fiscal, the total installed capacity of hydropower plants operational in the country has reached 2,759 MW by mid-July 2023. However, it is less than the government target. The government had set a target of adding 717 MW of electricity to the national grid in FY 2022/23. According to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), a total of 21 hydropower projects and six solar power projects began their commercial production in the last fiscal year.

The construction of the Solukhola (Dudhkoshi) Hydroelectricity Project, the largest hydropower project developed by the Nepali private sector, was completed in the last fiscal year. Developed by Sahas Urja, the 86 MW project commenced its commercial production on 1 March 2023.

The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has earlier projected an additional 811 MW of electricity will be added to the national grid in FY 2022/23. The state-owned power utility had expected the 111 MW Rasuwagadhi, 42.5 MW Sanjen, 14.8 MW Upper Sanjen, and 102 MW Madhya Bhotekoshi to come online by the end of the current fiscal year. However, these projects failed to complete their construction within the last fiscal year.

The 54 MW Super Dordi ‘B’ in Lamjung and the 2 MW Solar Power Project in Nawalparasi, the 6.8 MW Solar Power Project in Morang, and the 10 MW in Banke have been already connected to the national grid. The 10 MW Makarigad Project also started commercial production in the last fiscal year.

The government has targeted to add approximately 900 MW of electricity to the national transmission system in the current fiscal year. According to the federal budget 2023/24, the completion of projects promoted by the Nepal Electricity Authority such as the 111 MW Rasuwagadhi, 102 MW Madhya Bhotekoshi, and 42.5 MW Sanjen hydropower projects, as well as hydropower and solar projects initiated by the private sector will help the country’s total installed capacity to reach 3,600 MW by the end of FY 2023/24.

Currently, projects with an accumulative capacity of 3,280 MW are under development and once they are completed, the national grid will have around 7,000 MW of electricity.

On the transmission line part, the process of constructing the New Butwal-Gorakhpur 400 kV transmission line has moved ahead.

The government in the federal budget has announced that project development agreements (PDAs) for strategically important projects like the West Seti Hydropower Project, Seti River 6 Project, and Lower Arun Project will be signed, and development work will be commenced.

Similarly, the government also plans to determine the investment modality for reservoir-based hydro projects such as the 1200 MW Budhigandaki Hydropower Project and 635 MW Dudhakoshi Hydropower Project and begin their construction.

As for the hydropower projects such as Upper Arun (1061 MW), Chainpur Seti (210 MW), Jagdulla (106 MW), Tamakoshi-5 (99.9 MW), Simbua River (70.3 MW), and Ghunsa River (77.5 MW), the government is planning to take ahead these projects under the co-financing modality of all three tiers of government.