Shimla: With onset of winters in higher altitudes having reduced water flows in rivers and streams, hydro electricity generation has fallen sharply and the state is hoping to tide over its winter needs by using bankable power.
Generation in all hydro-electricity plants has fallen by over fifty percent of the installed capacity, said a senior HP state electricity official (HPSEB).
Management of the 126 MW Largi project on Beas River said that only about 42 MW of power was being generated at the plant that was commissioned just two years ago. â€œThe water flow has reduced which has in turn affected generation,â€ said a HPSEB executive at the plant.
â€œOur generation is dropping by as much as 1 to 1.5 lakh units per day,â€ says Sunil Grower, senior HPSEB executive who manages the states daily demand and supply situation.
Our present demand is between 180 to 190 lakh units and we are falling short by about 25 lakh units, said Grower, which is being met by bankable power from Punjab , Haryana and Delhi .
Cold conditions increase power demand for heating and cooking purposes in the hills which has to be bought at a premium and outages are resorted to between December and February.
Generation at the state owned plants which at peak water flows touches 115 to 120 lakh units per day was 39 lakh units on Monday. However much of the demand is met through state shares in central projects such as NHPCs Chamera plants and SJVNLs Jhakri plant.
To overcome shortage problems and of having to pay a heavy premium for spot purchases, the government entered into a bankable arrangement with Punjab and Haryana during summer when 200 million units were supplied to Punjab and 60 million to Haryana.
â€œWe hope to meet all our power requirements this winter,â€ said the HPSEB official.