The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has slashed energy imports from India as domestic hydropower projects have increased their output following a rise in the water levels in the various rivers where the power plants are located.
Imports have been reduced by 20 percent, the state-owned power utility said. Nepal has been importing 500 MW of electricity from India during peak hours.
Until a month ago, the NEA was importing up to 501 MW from India via various cross-border transmission lines during peak hours. Average imports amount to 323 MW. Currently, power imports stand at 406 MW during peak hours and 236 MW at other times. The NEA said it expected to decrease electricity imports from India further as power generation by domestic hydropower plants is expected to rise.
Continuous rain with the beginning of the monsoon has increased the water level in the rivers, increasing electricity generation by around 30 percent compared to a month ago. Currently, domestic plants are generating 745 MW of electricity, up 171 MW from a month ago, according to NEA statistics. Domestic hydropower stations were producing 574 MW as of mid-May.
NEA-owned hydroelectric projects are generating up to 406 MW, up from 363 MW in mid-May. Similarly, private developers have boosted output by 128 MW to 339 MW. In mid-May, power plants owned by private developers were producing only 211 MW of electricity.
The power utility said electricity generation by domestic power plants would increase further with the monsoon gaining strength in the coming days. “Within a month we will be generating electricity equivalent to our installed capacity,” said Prabal Adhikari, spokesperson for the NEA. The total installed capacity of domestic power projects stands at 1,018 MW with NEA owned projects producing 507 MW and privately owned plants generating 511 MW.
All the hydroelectric projects in the country except Kulekhani 1 and 2 are run-of-the-river types, and their generation increases with a rise in the water level in the rivers. Similarly, the output drops with a drop in the water level in the rivers where the hydropower plants are located.
After energy generation plunged almost 60 percent due to a fall in the water level in most rivers, the NEA had to rely heavily on electricity imported from India to keep the Kathmandu Valley free from power cuts and minimize outages in the rest of the country. The power utility imports electricity from India from more than a dozen cross-border transmission lines.
The NEA said it would keep decreasing imports from India as domestic generation is expected to increase further in the coming days.
Electricity supply status
Supply Mid-May 2018 Mid-June 2018
Electricity from NEA projects 363 MW 406 MW
Electricity from private projects 211 MW 339 MW
Imports from India 501 MW 406 MW
Total peak demand 1285 MW 1162 MW