Water level at Getalsud reservoir has to cross 1,925ft for the Sikidiri plant to start full operations
Ranchi, Aug. 23: Showers that lashed Jharkhand over the past three days have, like a magic wand, rejuvenated the Subernarekha Hydel Power Station that has begun generating as much as 100MW, all of which is being supplied to the state capital.
“The rains and the abundant seepage of water into our canals have come as a blessing. We have begun to operate both our units from which total generation has touched 100MW,” Bashir Ansari, the general manager of Sikidiri hydel station of Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB), told The Telegraph.
No wonder Sikidiri operations brought cheer to power-starved JSEB. Generation from the state’s two thermal power plants at Tenughat and Patratu was so far limited to 220MW. But, according to eastern load despatch centre, the numbers jumped to 320MW this evening after the addition of 100MW from the Sikidiri plant.
However, JSEB will have to continue to buy power from outside sources to bridge the demand-supply gap. Till now, average generation has remained stagnant at 220MW against a peak time demand of 1,050MW.
JSEB, therefore, has been buying power at over Rs 4.50 per unit. But, it charges domestic consumers Rs 2 40 per unit as per existing tariffs.
The Sikidiri plant is working only during evenings for one and a half hours since it is being operated with seepage water from the Getalsud reservoir.
“While unit 1 is run from 6.30pm to 7.30pm, unit 2 is being run for one and half hours from 6.30pm to 8pm,” said Ansari.
“We will be in a position to operate the units 24 hours a day only when the water level at the reservoir is above 1,925 feet and irrigation department and the state drinking water and sanitation department opens the reservoir gates,” he added.
The Sikidiri hydel plant, the only one of its kind in the state, is equipped with two units, each with an installed capacity of 65MW. Together, both units are capable of generating 130MW. All power generated from the plant is earmarked specifically for Ranchi city.
“Water levels at the Sikidiri reservoir today stood at 1923.70 feet. Technically, gates of the reservoir are to be opened once the water level rises to at least 1,935 feet. Last year, the gates of the reservoir were opened at 1,925 feet. This year, too, we expect the gates to be opened around the same level, which means we are short by 1.30 feet only,” Ansari explained.
Once the reservoir gates are opened, the hydel plant would be operated throughout the day, contributing 130MW to the state grid. The power scenario has been bleak since May after three towers on the main transmission lines at Biharsharif in Bihar were uprooted by gale winds, forcing TVNL to shut down one of its units to reduce load on existing transmission lines as a precautionary measure.