Chhattisgarh govt extends hydropower policy till 2032: Bhupesh Baghel

The Chhattisgarh government has extended the period of policy to promote small hydropower (SHP) projects in the state for another 10 years, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has said.

The SHP policy expired in February 2022. The policy promotes the development of SHP projects up to 25 megawatt (Mw) capacities. Chhattisgarh has an identified potential of about 1,200 Mw in the SHP.

The state cabinet has also approved the Chhattisgarh State Hydropower Project (Pump Storage Based) Establishment Policy 2022 to encourage investment in establishing pump storage-based hydropower projects in the state. Initially, seven sites have been identified by the generation company for the establishment of pump storage-based hydropower projects of about 10 thousand Mw capacity. Among the selected sites, a study will be conducted to establish the project in Korba, Jashpur, Surguja, Gariaband, Dhamtari, and Balrampur districts.

A large number of coal-based power generation projects have been set up in the state due to the availability of coal. For the stability and smooth operation of any power system, there should be a proper ratio of thermal power generation capacity and hydropower generation capacity, Baghel said.

At present, the share of hydropower generation capacity in the state’s power system is not according to the proportion required, he said, adding that there was a need to boost the development of hydropower generation projects in future.

Under the Chhattisgarh State Hydropower Project (Pump Storage Based) Establishment Policy 2022, the Chhattisgarh State Power Generation Company has been designated as the nodal agency for the establishment of a pump storage-based hydropower project. A feasibility report and detailed project report (DPR) will be prepared by the nodal agency for the selected project sites.

A fortnight ago, Baghel had announced that Chhattisgarh would set up a 1,320 Mw power plant. This will be the maiden facility in terms of highest capacity to come up since the formation of the state in November 2000.

The plant, which is proposed to come up in Korba, will have two units of 660 Mw each. It would be powered with new-aged super critical technology. The chief minister has asked officials to expedite the project. Anticipating the escalating demand of electricity in future, building up new power plants were inevitable to ensure smooth supply by 2030-31, Baghel has said.

With the installation of the new plant, Chhattisgarh State Generation Company’s installed capacity would increase to 4,300 Mw.

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