By the end of the current year, India aims at adding 1,190 MW of hydropower capacity, making the total capacity of more than 50,000 MW. At present, India has 45,399 MW of large hydel plants and 4,594 MW of small ones.
The government had aimed to increase the hydel capacity to an addition of 840 MW but was only successful in achieveing 140 MW last year.
The central sector NEEPCO is targeting to add the highest capacity of 600 MW at Kameng Hydel power project in Arunachal Pradesh by 2019. Himachal Pradesh government has also assured that another 211 MW will be added in the state. These would include three units of 33.33 MW by state government-owned BVPCL and three units of 37 MW by Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd.
Even three private sector companies are expected
to add around 379 MW of power. These are GMR’s Bajoli Holi project in Himachal
Pradesh with a total capacity of 3×60 MW, L&T’s Singoli Bhatwari project in
Uttarakhand with a total capacity of 2×33 MW and Sorang hydel project with a
proposed capacity of 2×50 MW at Uttarakhand.
If we are to believe the schedule prepared by the Central Electricity Authority, India is likely to exceed the 50 GW installed capacity that has been marked for July 2019, provided NEEPCO copes to commission its proposed unit 1 and 2 of the Kameng project. These units are supposed to generate a capacity of 150 MW each and are planned to be delegated this month. The commercial operations are to begin in August.
Hydel projects generated 13% of the total power produced by conventional power generation capacity including thermal, nuclear and hydel during April and May. Hydel generation achieved a near 38% growth in comparison to the previous corresponding period.
In 2018, 7% year-on-year growth in power generation at 135 billion units has been achieved by hydel power plants alone. Amongst the total power generated by the conventional power generation sources, hydel power has contributed 10% of it.