Heavy rains and the flooding in North India have switched off nearly 4,000 MW of hydro power generation.

The power stations run by NHPC, SJVN and Jaiprakash Power Ventures across Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand were shut down due to heavy silt deposits and tripping of transmission lines. This resulted in power cuts in many northern States and the National Capital.

“Most of the hydro generating stations, accounting for nearly 10 per cent of power supply in the northern region, are switched off,” said a senior official at Northern Regional Load Despatch Centre.

The hydro power stations stopped operations on Sunday. But some are gradually re-starting from Wednesday. Complete restoration is expected in a day or two if weather conditions improve. Rains are abating in Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand, a Power Ministry official said.

Public sector power producer NHPC’s three stations — Dhauliganga (280 MW), Tanakpur (120 MW) and Dulhasti (390 MW) — are not functioning. The first two stations because of rain water and silt, while in the case of Dulhasti, the transmission line has tripped. Other stations such as Nathpa Jhakri (1,500 MW) of SJVN, and Karcham Wangtoo (1,000 MW) and Vishuprayag (400 MW) of Jaiprakash Power Ventures have also stopped generating.

Early monsoon

According to the India Meteorological Department, the rains came ahead of schedule resulting in heavy floods in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand.

Generally, during monsoon hydro power stations produce maximum electricity.

The dip in generation has to some extent been compensated by lower drawal as the temperature has come down. The total demand in the North has dropped to around 32,000 MW from about 40,000 MW a couple of weeks ago.

The load despatch centre is trying to meet the demand by importing electricity from the western region. “It has rained in Western States and so demand has come down. We are sourcing some power from them,” the official added.

India has a generating capacity of 2,25,133.10 MW. Of this, 39,623.40 MW is hydro-based, as on May 31.

In Delhi, heavy rain has caused flooding and the Yamuna is flowing above the danger mark. Power supply to the residents in the low-lying areas along the river bed has been suspended, said an official at BSES, an electricity distribution company in the National Capital.

BSES Yamuna Power Ltd has mapped all assets in its distribution area within 500 meters of the river. The discom has switched off 82 connections for safety reasons.


(This article was published on June 19, 2013)
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