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With the cheapest power from BhakraNangal and Beas projects all set to fall in the first quarter due to depleted level of water at reservoirs, the power utilities in Punjab and Haryana will have to spend extra buck to maintain adequate supply. Due to less rains in the catchment area, the prevailing water level at Bhakra reservoir (1200MW) and Pong (360MW) is 35 per cent and 41 per cent respectively below normal (average of last 10 years) levels.
The BBMB is primarily an irrigation project and power is a by-product allocated supplied at around paise 33 per unit to beneficiary states. Punjab gets lion's share of 51.8 per cent (1161 MW) of the total installed capacity whereas Haryana gets 37 per cent share. The projects had generated 11819 million units in 2016-17 almost 10.5 per cent lower than the previous year due to less rainfall in the catchment area. The BBMB projects have an installed capacity of 2866 MW.
"Power from other sources will be arranged to cover up the shortfall and it will definitely cost more than the supply from BBMB," a senior official of Haryana Power Generation Corporation Limited said. The dip in hydro power generation is likely to affect Punjab State Power Corporation Limited more as it also gets 1041 MW of hydro power from its share and PPAs in other projects in the North.
Out of 91 main water reservoirs in the country 37 reservoirs have hydropower benefit with installed capacity of more than 60 MW.
This year the water levels at such reservoirs is better than the last year and last 10 years in states of Gujarat, Odissa, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. In states of Maharashtra, Uttrakhand, Kerela and Tamil Nadu the water level in the reservoirs having hydro generation capacity is less than normal (average of last 10 years) but better than the last year.
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