With demand for power increasing and majority of the proposed thermal power projects taking time beyond their scheduled date of completion, the State Government asked the Energy Department to take up a special feasibility study of water sources for setting up small hydro electricity projects (SHEPs) to harness more green power.
Chief Secretary BK Patnaik reviewed the status of the proposed small hydro electricity projects at a meeting on Thursday.
Energy Secretary Pradeep Jena told the meeting that memoranda of understanding (MoUs) have been signed with 36 companies for generation of about 500 MW hydro power. Three units with generating capacity of 57 MW have already been commissioned while another four units with 67 MW capacity are in advanced stage of construction.
The four units which have made substantial progress are located at Kharagpur (10 MW), Dumajhari (15 MW), Saptadhara (18 MW) and Baitarani project with 24 MW capacity. While DPRs have been prepared for 16 MoUs signed for SHEPs, two inter-state projects are facing some problems from Andhra Pradesh.
The Energy Secretary further told the meeting that more than 200 locations in the State are identified for harnessing hydel power. Efforts are on to carry out feasibility study of some of these projects.
The Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) has been advised to make a table study of these probable locations within a month.
The Chief Secretary asked the department to prepare a detailed project reports (DPRs) and find out the modalities for awarding contract to potential investors either on MoU or bidding route. All the feasible projects should be submitted to the Government for approval.
Issues relating to establishment of another eight units at Bargarh (9 MW), Salandi Dam (9 MW), 10 MW project at Hatipathar, 25 MW Saheed Laxman Nayak project, 20 MW project at Machhkund, 18 MW project on Jalaput Dam too were discussed.
Patnaik asked the department to examine the status of the performance of all MoU- signed projects and list out the non-responding and non-performing ones. He advised the department to explore the possibility of implementation of the non-performing MoU projects through the Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC).
The proposal for reducing the capacity of Balijhari project to avoid submergence of inhabited villages was also discussed. The meeting also discussed creation of a separate agency for harnessing renewable energy and the OHPC was asked to examine the proposal and submit a report to the Government.