VIJAYAWADA: A day after Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy directed the Energy Department to focus on the pumped storage hydroelectric project (PSHP) at Sileru, Energy Secretary Srikant Nagulapalli on Tuesday said the State government has given in-principle approval to the Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation Limited (APGenco) to execute the proposed project at Upper Sileru.
The government has directed APGenco to explore the most feasible techno-economic option to set up the 1,350 Mega Watt PSHP and integrate it with solar and wind power for grid stabilisation, provide 24x7 power and meet the future energy demand in the State.Though the hydroelectric project has often figured in the wish-lists submitted by the Chief Minister to the Centre requesting financial support and expedited clearance for diverting forest land, it is yet to take off owing to various constraints.
“Topographical survey and hydrographic survey and 76.9% of geotechnical investigations have been completed. The balance works are in progress. The Sileru PSHP is considered to be the biggest in the State after Srisailam and Polavaram hydroelectric projects,” Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation Limited Managing Director B Sreedhar said, adding that the project requires 410 hectares of land.
The objective of the hydroelectric project is to generate 1,350 MW of power during peak hours by utilising 1.7 tmc of water from Guntawada reservoir (Upper) at Upper Sileru and pump 1.7 tmc of water from Donkarayi reservoir (lower) back to Guntawada reservoir during off peak hours by using the surplus off-peak low-cost power available in the grid. The cost of the project, proposed to have nine units of 150 MW capacity each, was pegged at Rs 8,467 crore at 2018-19 price level, but officials estimate that it could be well over Rs 10,000 to Rs 11,000 crore excluding land acquisition now.
The Water and Power Consultancy Services Limited (WAPCOS) was entrusted with the responsibility of preparing the detailed project report (DPR) and obtaining all clearances for launching the hydroelectric project, the APGenco MD added. In fact, three alternative sites were examined and presented by WAPCOS and the best of the three is said to have been finalised.
Unit price declines to Rs 6.7
Meanwhile, the prices of short-term power at exchanges have come down. At 6.45 to 7 pm block on Tuesday, the State purchased 1,600 MW when the price per unit at the exchange was Rs 6.7. In the next 15-minute block too, the price remained at Rs 6.7 per unit as opposed to Rs 15-20 last week.
“The State government has successfully overcome the present coal shortage related issues. It is supplying power 24x7 to consumers,” the Energy Department claimed. It further added, “The Chief Minister has directed officials to coordinate with Singareni Collieries, Coal India and others for procuring coal to improve supplies to the APGenco thermal power plants. He also instructed them to explore all ways for better transportation of coal in coordination with the Centre.”