T.N. upbeat about hydro power prospects

Tangedco is confident of generating 6,000 million units of power this year
With the southwest monsoon remaining vigorous, the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) is confident of generating 6,000 million units (MU) of hydro power this financial year.

At the beginning of this month, the storage at the hydel reservoirs was about 2,210 MU. This meant that the corporation can generate this much energy in future. There is still a month left for the withdrawal of the southwest monsoon and it will be followed by northeast monsoon that normally lasts till December end. Considering these factors, Tangedco officials are hopeful that the storage may go up by another 4,000 MU.

Since April 1, hydro power stations generated 1,990 MU so far. For the corresponding period last year, they generated 565 MU of power.

From June, the inflow into the reservoirs has been exceeding the 10-year-long average. The cumulative inflow into the reservoirs was 902 MU in June against the anticipated 260 MU; 1,874 MU in July against 1,118 MU and 2,213.6 MU (up to Tuesday) against 1,015 MU for August.

In the last 10 years, a record generation of hydro power — 6,455 MU — was achieved in 2007-08. During 2017-18, the figure was 3,063 MU.

Although hydro power accounts for about 5% of the annual generation of the Tangedco, its importance has to be seen in the context of the hydel stations providing flexibility in grid operations and becoming handy in times of steep decline in generation caused by any major breakdown of thermal power stations. Also, hydro power saves crores of rupees for the corporation. For instance, if the hydel stations generate 6,000 MU of power this year, Tangedco need not buy that much of energy from others. This means a savings of ₹2,400 crore, with the average cost of power being ₹4 a unit.

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