Power output falls due to reduced river flow

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    Nov 27, 2017-Production of hydroelectricity at both large and small plants has fallen sharply as water levels in the rivers have fallen with the start of the rainless season.

    The Middle Marshyangdi Hydropower Station with an installed capacity of 70 MW has been putting out only 50 MW of electric power due to reduced flow in the Marshyangdi River.

    During the rainy season when the river swells with water, the station produces up to 72 MW of electricity. The powerhouse contains two turbines with a capacity of 35 MW each, and currently only one is being used to produce electricity, project officials said.

    Station Chief Pashupati Raj Gautam said they were running one turbine for 2-3 hours during the day and for 3-4 hours during the night. “We have been trying our best to run the power plant at full capacity by collecting the water flowing in the river,” Gautam said.

    As per project officials, the water level in the Marshyangdi River has declined sharply very early in the dry season this year. From last month, the project has closed the gate completely to collect water and direct it to the powerhouse through the tunnel. “Last year, the water level had remained steady till this time of the year,” Gautam said.

    According to him, the average electricity production at the project amounted to 27 MW last year. “With a notable drop in the water level, production has declined this year.” Electricity production at Upper Marshyangdi-A is also likely to shrink as the water level in the Marshyangdi River has dropped. Since last Friday, the 50 MW project has started diverting water through the tunnel.

    Karna Adhikari, information officer at the project, said that electricity production at Upper Marshyangdi-A had not fallen. “If the water level drops further, electricity production at the project could be hit,” Adhikari said.

    Apart from these large hydroelectricity projects, small plants that are mainly based on direct water supply from the rivers have been affected due to reduced flow.

    The 5 MW Siuri Small Hydroelectricity Project, 4.4 MW Randhi Small Hydroelectricity Project, 4 MW Khudi Small Hydroelectricity Project, 3 MW Midimkhola (Karapu) Small Hydroelectricity Project, 2 MW Chhandikhola Small Hydroelectricity Project and 183 KW Syange Micro Hydroelectricity Project are reporting reduced production of electric power.

    Recently, a total of 138.58 MW of electricity has been added to the national grid. Government statistics show that electricity supply drops by almost half during the  dry season.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post