Solar power project in Butwal starts commercial power generation

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BUTWAL, Dec 22: The country’s largest private sector-run grid that is connected to a solar power project has started commercial power generation. Ridi Hydropower Development Company Limited has started commercial production after completing the work of 8.5 MW Grid connected to Butwal Solar Power Project.

Executive Director of the company Kuber Nepal said the company has been generating electricity commercially since November 10 after the completion of the solar project at Manigram in Rupandehi. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, the company completed the work within a year of starting the project and started generating power.

A total of 32,000 solar panels with a capacity of 330 watts have been laid on 26 bighas of land in Tilottama Municipality-6 from which 8.5 MW electricity is being generated. Ten inverters with a capacity of 850 kW have been connected to convert DC energy produced from solar panels into AC.

The 8.5 MVA transformer has upgraded 690 volts into 33 kV and has been connected to the national transmission line. The generated electricity is connected to the Amuwa substation located at a distance of 7.4 kilometers. The project has constructed a 33 kV transmission line and connected electricity to the national grid.

The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for 25 years at the rate of Rs 7.30 per unit. An agreement has been signed with NEA with a guarantee of 14.5 million units of electricity supply annually. The plant is generating about 8-9 hours of electricity daily, said the Project’s Engineer Kushal Neupane. As there is no battery, electricity will be generated from the solar plant only when there is sunshine.

The project, costing around Rs 720 million, aims to earn Rs 100 million annually. The company said the project has been constructed with 70 percent loan and 30 percent equity investment in which Citizens’ Investment Bank and Nepal Bangladesh Bank have invested Rs 490 million.

According to the Department of Electricity Development, a maximum of 1 MW solar plant has been constructed in Nepal so far. In Ramnagar of Nawalparasi, one megawatt and Kathmandu Valley Water Supply Management Board is generating electricity from 680 kilowatts of solar energy. Ridi Hydropower Development Company has been working in the field of renewable energy for the past two decades.

The company completed the 2400 kilowatt Ridikhola Hydropower Project in 2009 and is supplying electricity to the national grid system. The 500 KW Rairang Khola Hydropower Project in Dhading and the 9,900 KW Iwakhola Project in Taplejung have been completed.

The tender was invited publicly in May 2073 BS in accordance with the policy of the government’s National Energy Crisis Mitigation and Power Development Decade Concept Paper and Action Plan 2072 BS. In the bidding for 63 MW capacity projects, 18 projects equal to 61 MW were proposed. Of them, Ridy Hydropower Development Company had bagged the tender for the Butwal grid connected solar power project.

Source : Republica