Pico Hydro news

GHARATAs reported earlier by Ben Heron from Kullu Valley, the same meeting he attended there was on news and gives more picture about the pico hydro capability of the state:

Himachal watermills generating electricity

By Baldev S. Chauhan, Shimla: Traditional water mills on Himachal Pradesh’s scenic riverbanks, used for grinding grain and irrigation in paddy fields, are now being turned into low-cost power plants.

A project has been initiated by the state government with help from the central ministry of non-conventional energy sources to turn the existing water mills into electricity generators.

There are hundreds of traditional water mills across Himachal’s many rivers and streams, which are extensively used for grinding grain and for irrigation. Traditional mill owners and an NGO called HESCO have also chipped in with their contribution.

Under the project, villagers have been encouraged to turn their watermills into electricity generators at a cost of Rs.300,000 each.Two traditional water mills have already been converted in Dugri and Samang villages in the Kullu valley – one with five MW capacity and the other three MW.

Both mills have become functional, paving the way for producing electricity through more water mills in a cost-effective and environment friendly manner.”Around 166 households in the vicinity will benefit from the power generated by the two water mills that came into operation this week,” said a spokesman of the state government.

“Each household will need to pay a flat Rs.30 per month to avail itself of power from these mills. While Rs.15 will go to the mill owner, the rest will be deposited with the account of the maintenance committee,” said the official.

While large and medium hydropower-projects are criticised for causing harm to nature, power generation through watermills is natural and environment-friendly. “A watermill producing electricity operates like the traditional flour mill. After the renovation of the mill, its spinning speed goes up and one can also grind grains,” said Shravan Kumar, a watermill owner at a village in the Kullu valley. Such experiments have been tried in only two other states – Uttaranchal and Arunachal Pradesh.

Himachal has around a quarter of the country’s hydropower potential. But due to huge expenses involved, nothing much has been done to tap the potential.


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  1. Water mill owners to generate power
    Arvind Kashyap

    Solan, November 14: Interrupted supply of power would soon be a thing of the past in some remote villages of the state. Now, water mill owners will generate power for the day-to-day domestic and commercial needs in the rural parts of this hilly state.

    Under the “Upgradation of Water Mills” Programme of the Union Ministry of Non Conventional Energy, the HIMURJA Department has selected three water mills in Solan and Arki assembly segments for generating at least five kilowatt power at each mill. Besides, the HIMURJA has further identified four such water mills in the Arki sub-division for generating power.

    Sources in HIMURJA revealed that a scheme to upgrade all the existing and closed water mills was launched across the state last year. The programme has finally starting yielding results with some owners of these mills having agreed to adopt the scheme. Initially, the officials of the department conducted a survey to identify such mills situated in remote the areas along rivers and rivulets, in various parts of the district. The officials after locating the mills started educating the water mills’ owners about the benefits of the energy generation programme. Under the scheme, the Union ministry would provide an amount of Rs 1 lakh as subsidy while Rs 50,000 would be contributed by the mill owner. The total cost of the project is Rs 1.5 lakh. HIMURJA will provide the generator, turbine and other related materials to the mill owners and also set up this micro power project with a capacity of generating 5,000 watts (5 KW) of power.

    In the first phase, three water mill owners – Baldev Singh of Nauni near Solan, Sant Ram of Ashlu village and Dhani Ram of Darlaghat village in Arki constituency – had approached the HIMURJA for setting up these micro power projects . The official concerned after preparing the detailed project report finally got the sanction from the Union ministry. Similarly, four such power projects would soon be made operational at the water mill of Nathu Ram of Roprina village, Ganpat and Jagat Ram of Ashlu and Heera Lal of Chakhar village in Arki sub-division.

    “After making the project operational, the owner would not only be able to meet his day-to-day power requirements but could also sell the power to needy consumers,” said an engineer of the department, Joginder Singh.

    He however said that for selling the power, the mill owner would have to complete certain formalities.

  2. says: Devinder Shyam

    I also want to build a small water mill based power generation plant as i have land near water stream

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