Low dam levels portend grim power situation

Drastic drop in generation at Sharavathi, Linganamakki hydel plants likely

Low dam levels portend grim power situation

 As predicted by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), it has been a weak monsoon so far in the Malnad region. The district has not received copious rains in August, the third month of the rainy season, so far. It is likely to have an adverse impact on electricity generation at the Sharavathi Hydro Electric Project, the backbone of the State’s power generation.

According to Sharavathi chief engineer (electrical) Shivaji, the plant generates 5,000 million units (MU) of power per annum. It is feared that there would be a shortfall of around 3,000 MU this year, if there is no drastic rise in water level of Linganamakki dam in the coming days. The plant contributes 23 per cent of the power generated in the State. It generates 10 to 11 MU of power per day. The Sharavathi power station, with its 10 units, has an installed capacity of 1,035 MW and the power house at the Linganamakki reservoir, with two units, has an installed capacity of 55 MW.

According to the dam authorities, the water level was at 1,787 feet against the maximum level of 1,819 feet on August 24. Interestingly, the water level was 1814.50 feet on the same day last year. This figure clearly indicates that the dam is unlikely to reach its maximum level in the remaining days of the rainy season as it is still short of 32 feet. Had the water level crossed 1,800 feet, it should have been possible. But now, the possibilities of the dam reaching the brim are less, they said.

They said that they could generate power from the Mahatma Gandhi, Sharavathi, Linganamakki and Gerusoppa power plants only for 90 days, if the government demands for maximum capacity power generation. A total power of 22 MU could be generated from these plants per day. But 9,000 cusecs of water has to be used for the purpose.

Speaking to Deccan Herald over the phone, Sharavathi Hydro Power Station chief engineer (electrical) Shivaji said, “We have not received any direction from the government on reducing or stopping power generation in the plant. The purchase of power from other states and utilisation of power generated from other sources of energy are necessary as the dam is unlikely to reach its maximum level this year.”   

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