Solu Khola Hydro Connected to Grid : Nepal’s installed electricity production capacity reaches 2,400 MW

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KATHMANDU, Feb 12: Nepal’s installed electricity production capacity has reached 2,400 MW as of Saturday. However, the production at present is just one-third of the actual production capacity.

According to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the country achieved an additional 316 MW of electricity in the first seven months of the current fiscal year. Of the amount, 306 MW was from 14 hydropower projects, while the remaining 10 MW was from three solar projects.

On Saturday alone, production of the 86 MW Solu Khola (Dudhkoshi) Hydroelectric Project is connected to the national grid. Solu Khola is a run-of-river (RoR) type project.

Solu Khola (Dudhkoshi) Hydroelectric Project (SKDKHEP) is an 86 MW Run Of River (RoR) type of project located at Solududhkunda Municipality & Thulung Dudh Koshi Gaupalika (Former Tingla, Kangel & Panchan VDCs) of Solukhumbu District, Sagarmatha Zone, Nepal. The project area is about 130 km (aerial) east of Kathmandu and is situated within longitude 86°37’35” to 86°41’15” East and latitude 27°21’53” to 27°25’15” North. The project utilizes a design discharge of 17.05m³/s from Solu Khola and the elevation difference between the proposed intake at Solu Khola and powerhouse at Dudhkoshi River for power generation.

The project has connected the company-produced electricity to the 132-KV transmission line from power house to Lammane substation.

Likewise, the 54 MW Super Dordi ‘Kha’ is reported to have completed its construction. The project, which has successfully tested its intake and related structures, is testing its main tunnel on Sunday. The project is set to go online for electricity supply from the next month.

Kulman Ghising, managing director of the NEA, said they were after expediting the work of the under construction projects to increase power supply. “Based on the current situation, we might have to sustain hardship in electricity supply till mid-May,” Ghising said.

The state-owned public utility says that around 33 percent of the total demand for electricity is being fulfilled from imported power from India. The amount stands at an average of 400 MW of electricity daily.

Most of the country’s hydropower production is RoR types. As the water level in the rivers recedes in winter, the electricity production plunges heavily.  Ghising said the electricity import now is necessary to maintain supply on par with the energy demand.

The government has aimed to take the country’s electricity production capacity to 3,000 MW by the end of this fiscal year. For this purpose, the government has planned to connect an additional 800 MW of electricity in the national grid within the stipulated period.

Photo : Mr. Him Pathak