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Project Focus

Big on small hydro


A 200 KW micro hydro power project to be set up in Kedarnath is expected to resolve the power crunch in the geographically challenging areas of Uttarakhand


The perishing nature of fossil fuels at alarming rates has today drastically increased the importance of renewable resource to meet power and energy requirements. Power generated through renewable sources is particularly important in establishing a stable electricity network especially in the geographically difficult terrain. The state of Uttarakhand is one such region of the country that has taken the lead in non-conventional energy resource applications. The recent devastating floods in the state submerged not just a major chunk of the landmass but also destroyed critical infrastructure facilities like power resources. Aiming to resolve the growing power concerns in and around the Kedarnath region, the government owned Uttarakhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (UREDA) is soon to set up a 200 MW micro hydro power project.


The latest in UREDA’s series of micro-hydro power projects, the 200 KW plant will be set up in the Kedarnath region. The project is being implemented with financial support from the Department of Science and Technology. UREDA has been appointed as the nodal agency for project implementation. The project involves an approximate cost of Rs.134 lakh. UREDA has identified the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) as a partner in assisting in the process of project execution. NIM will provide the manpower and machinery required for project execution. NIM’s prior experience in delivering service to similar projects developed in hard-to-access regions is expected to benefit in the implementation of the Kedarnath hydro power project. UREDA has also involved Alternate Hydro Energy Centre, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee too provide services like preparation of detailed project report (DPR), technology selection, site inspection etc.
A similar hydro power project, but of 100 KW capacity, was installed about twenty years ago in the region. The plant was set up to generate required electricity for the Kedarnath shrine and surrounding areas. However, the project faced severe operational hurdles and could not generate enough electricity to meet the region’s growing power requirements.
A noteworthy feature of the project being developed in the region after two decades is its complete environment friendliness. It is planned to be developed on the run-off river technology, ensuring complete protection to the environment. UREDA has also maintained utmost care while selecting materials to be used in the process of construction. All the materials to be used in the construction will be selected as per the recommendations of the R&H expert committee.
In addition, the water will be diverted through a diversion apparatus and put on with turbines to generate electricity. The entire procedure is completely eco-friendly since it will not necessitate the construction of any big structure like reservoir or dam. The project is expected to be fully commissioned by July, 2016.


The usage of run-off technology makes the project a 100 per cent environment friendly initiative. The energy generated through the proposed micro hydro power project will be first utilised to power the Kedarnath Shrine and the balance power will be sold to the Uttarakhand Power Corporation Ltd (UPCL), a state discom. The project also aims to reduce the losses incurred on transmission and distribution networks at the load end. The hydro power project is expected to support in the establishment of a stable power network at the tail end, in the areas where the national/state grid has not been yet established. Apart from establishing a power supply network, the project is also expected to generate employment opportunities for the residents of the region.
The hydro power project is expected to play a critical role especially after the completion of re-construction process of the Kedarnath region. Work on 107 buildings is currently in process. The structures will rise three floors above the ground at a height of about 10 metres. The buildings are expected to be fully complete by May next year, following which a rapid rise is expected in the demand for power resources. The project will establish an uninterrupted power supply in the area.


The energy-development relationship has numerous social and political implications particularly in states like Uttarakhand. About 63.10 per cent of the population in the state lives in rural areas, of which most belong below the poverty line. The region’s hilly geographic terrain and the scattered pattern of settlements are the critical challenges faced in terms of establishing stable power networks. In such situations, either it is not possible to lay grid lines due to forest laws or due to the high cost of coverage. Operation and maintenance is the other issue hindering the establishment of power resource. Decentralised distributed generation micro and mini hydro projects (MHP) hence are the most preferred modes to facilitate electricity to the forest fringe and scattered villages.
UREDA has already taken the MHP route for remote village electrification as well as for grid feeding. So far it has commissioned 44 MHPs having a composite capacity of 4.29 MW while another 19 MHPs of total capacity 2.315 MW are under implementation. The projects were earlier constructed on a turn-key basis but from the year 2005, the government of Uttarakhand decided to construct MHPs for village electrification on community participation. For construction of MHPs, tripartite agreements have been signed between UREDA, Alternate Hydro Energy Center (AHEC), IIT, Roorkee and Concern User Energy Committee (UEC). As per the agreement AHEC, IIT, Roorkee is providing technical specialised services for construction of MHPs, preparation of DPR etc. while UREDA is providing its services for monitoring, funding and guidance to the User Energy Committee. MHPs are being constructed with financial support from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). A large number of MHPs have been constructed in the remote areas of the state where the national or state grid cannot be extended. Through its renewable power projects, UREDA has already set a benchmark in terms of addressing the challenges, in the process successfully electrifying more than 300 villages in the region.


Established in July 2001, UREDA promotes
renewable energy sources and strives to establish a stable power network in Uttarakhand. The body functions under the administrative control of Department of Renewable Energy and implements key functions like:
Renewable energy programmes including generation of power from renewable energy sources
Implementation of Energy Conservation Act, 2001.
Demand side management
Accreditation of RE Projects under REC (Renewable Energy Certificate) Mechanism.
In addition, UREDA also designs and implements its own programmes which are specially suited for the state of Uttarakhand, and in many ways, has evolved systems, which are now accepted under the national programme.
UREDA registered its first CDM Project in Uttarakhand for carbon credits in December 2010. The Project Design Document (PDD) was prepared by the public sector unit under the small scale category for availing CDM benefits against reduction in carbon emissions through construction of 29 bundled MHPs of 3.115 MW capacity in the state. These projects were located in the remote districts like Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, Chamoli, Uttarakashi and Tehri Garhwal. This project was validated by DNV AS, Bengaluru after achieving approval from the Ministry of Environment and Forests.



Name: Kedarnath MHP
Location: Kedarnath, Uttarakhand
Capacity: 200 KW
Estimated Cost: Rs.134 lakh
Nodal Agency: Uttarakhand Renewable Energy Development Agency
Funding Agency: Department of Science & Technology, Government of India
Estimated Date of Commissioning: July, 2016


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