HETAUDA, FEB 13 – The power generation capacity of the Kulekhani Hydroelectricity Project, the only storage-type plant in the country, has been found decreasing in recent times, thanks to the silt deposited at the bottom of the artificial lake.
The drop in water storage capacity of the 92 megawatt project has reduced power generation by 63.3 million units in recent times, according to Rabindra Mahaseth, chief of the Kulekhani I Hydroelectricity Project. Kulekhani I (60MW) and Kulekhani II (32 MW) generate power from the water stored in the reservoir and contribute to the national grid. The reduced capacity of the reservoir to hold water is likely to affect the overall power supply system, particularly the load-shedding hours in the Kathmandu valley and the surrounding areas.
The water stored in the reservoir used to contribute to generate around 210.1 million units of power. However, only 140 million units are generated from the plants now. “Every year, the water sources feeding the reservoir bring along boulders, stones, mud and sand which get deposited at the bottom of the reservoir,” said Mahaseth, adding, “The deposition of silt and other substances that are brought by the water movement from the sources is reducing the water holding capacity of the reservoir.”
During the initial years of operation, the Kulekhani reservoir had the capacity to hold around 850.3 million cubic metres water, which has dropped to 590.9 cubic metres. It is estimated that the bottom surface of the reservoir has risen 13 meters above the sea level in last three decades. The reservoir has the capacity to store water up to 1,530 metres ASL.
Source : The Kathmandu Post