By Manish Gupta
In a major boost to India’s commitment to promote non-fossil energy, Arunachal Pradesh is likely to sign multiple deals to set up 13 GW new hydropower projects at an investment of more than Rs 1.5 trillion next week.
Power minister RK Singh is set to visit Itanagar next week to initiate steps to unlock the state’s hydropower potential, including signing of 13 MoUs for 13 GW hydropower projects, a senior government official said.
Currently, the state, which holds 41% of India’s total hydropower potential, has just 1,100 MW installed capacity in hydropower. Besides, two projects with combined capacity of 4,880 MW are under construction.
Also Read: JSW Energy commissions 51 MW wind power capacity in Tamil Nadu
Much-delayed Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project, work on which began in mid-2000, is expected to finally complete its first four units of 1,000 MW (4 x 250 MW) in the current financial year, the official said.
State-run hydroelectricity producer NHPC owns the 2,000 MW Subansiri Lower project. The second project, 2,880 MW Dibang hydropower project, is also being constructed by NHPC at a cost of about Rs 35,000 crore.
Last November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the 600 MW Kameng hydropower station in Arunachal Pradesh, the largest project commissioned in the region with the potential to generate 3,353 million units of energy annually.
The northeast state is also working on a highly ambitious hydropower project in Upper Siang district. This 10 GW project, which is at the planning stage, will be the country’s largest hydropower project, said the official.
Also Read: Hindustan Zinc Q4 profit drops 11.7% to Rs 2,583 cr
The Upper Siang project, which will entail an investment of about Rs 1.45 trillion, is also being seen as a buffer to counter any artificial floods triggered by China, which is planning 60,000 MW hydropower project in Medog, Tibet.
Both 13 GW of new hydropower projects and the 10 GW Upper Siang project will be part of the discussions in the meeting next week between power minister Singh and Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu.
Leaving out Upper Siang project, the projects under construction and the 13 MoUs that are likely to be signed next week will add a total of 17,880 MW of hydropower in Arunachal, which is 38% of India’s current hydropower capacity.
Currently, the country’s total installed power generation capacity is 4,16,059 MW, of which the total installed hydropower capacity is 46,850 MW (11.3%).