Rain-fed rivers raise energy generation

By Passang Norbu

Power generation at the Basochu, Chukha, Kurichu and Tala hydropower plants jumped last month with more water in the rivers after the monsoon kicked in on June 5.  In fact, total generation in June was 984.89MU (million units), higher than the generation of 641.63MU of June last year, according to records maintained by the Druk Green Power corporation (DGPC).

Specifically, higher generation was recorded at Tala, from 402MU to 654MU and at Chukha, from 172MU to 248MU.

The 64MW Basochu plant in Wangduephodrang also saw an increase from 23MU to 38MU, but generation at the 60MW Kurichu in Gyalpoizhing remained the same at 45MU in June.

The highest daily generation was recorded 27MU at Tala hydropower plant on June 30, and lowest, 0.20MU on June 28 at Kurichu hydropower plant.

Even in May, total generation from the four-hydropower plants was 589MU, compared to last year’s 386MU.

The forecast for this year’s power generation is 6863MU and so far from January to June, 2,532MU have been generated.

Druk Green contributes about 26 percent of the government’s total revenue in the form of taxes and dividends from the sale of power to India and the domestic market.

With the decline in hydrological flows experienced over the last couple of years, and increase in domestic demand from industries, energy exported out of total energy generated had declined from 4727MU (79 percent) in 2010 to 4405MU (73 percent) in 2012.

Over the past three years, there was huge opportunity lost exceeding Nu 1.3B to Druk Green due to domestic demand exceeding royalty energy component, with additional energy demand ranging from 545.50GWh in 2010 to 818.59GWh in 2012, Druk Green officials said.

Rainfall record with department of hydromet services show average rainfall of 70.5mm rainfall in May and 72.5mm in June.  Last year it was 30.5mm in May and 67mm in June.  Last year, the average rainfall was 1,310mm, and for this year the forecast average is between 1,380mm to 1,400mm.

Higher rainfall is expected in the districts of Samdrupjongkhar, Gelephu, Phuentsholing and Samtse.  The monsoon, which lasts from June to September, starts from the south, and advance towards the central and northern parts of the country.





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