Reduced Operations at Kulekhani Hydropower Plant Amidst Declining Water Levels

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Hetauda, June 20: Kulekhani Hydropower Project will now operate only during critical times since the water level has diminished in the Kulekhani Reservoir, the only reservoir-based project in the country located at Indrasarovar of Makwanpur district.

The water level in Indrasarovar is 1,485.01 metres above sea level and it can collect water up to a height of 1,530 metres above sea level.

According to Kulekhani I Hydropower Centre head Tara Dutta Bhatta, the water level of Indrosarovar was measured at 1,484.95 metres above sea level on Monday. He informed that earlier the water level had decreased in 2001. Since, the water level has decreased at present, electricity will be generated only during emergencies, he added.

Kulekhani Hydropower Project also serves as an important backup for Nepal’s hydropower. Especially during dry and summer seasons, when the water in rivers and streams is low, it is used to balance the supply and demand of electricity and to manage the electricity distribution system when there are voltage fluctuations and high demand. However, its water level has decreased due to less rainfall in recent times.

According to Bhatta, electricity cannot be generated if the water level falls below 1,483 metres above sea level. The reservoir was constructed by building a dam on the Kulekhani River, with water sources including the Palung Khola, Chitlang Khola, Seti Khola, Chakhel Inlet, Chalkhu Khola, Thado Khola and the Dhasku Khola.

When the reservoir gets water overflow, it flows into the Bagmati River via the Kulekhani Khola.

The project can produce 60 megawatts from the first hydropower centre, 32 megawatts from the second and 14 megawatts from the third.

The water discharged from Kulekhani I is used by Kulekhani II along with water from local streams, and then the combined water is used for electricity generation at the Kulekhani III Hydropower Centre located in Sanutar of Bhimphedi Rural Municipality-1.

 

Source: Rising Nepal