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Small Hydro Plants

Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited

Uttarakhand Jal Vidut Nigam was formed on 9 Nov 2001 with it main motto of developing and harnessing the hydro potential of Uttarakhand State. The Nigam has 33 projects under operation with an aggregated capacity of more than 1400 MW and more than 14 projects are under different stages of implementation.

Introduction of Hydro Power

Hydro power is a non- polluting, renewable source of energy .It is perhaps the oldest renewable energy technique .Hydro power represents the use of water resources towards inflation free energy due to absence of fuel cost with mature technology characterized by highest primer moving efficiency and spectacular electricity efficiency.

 Small Hydro Projects are an important, appropriate and profitable that other energy supply options.

 Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam limited is primarily responsible for the Small Hydro development in Uttarakhand & is nodal agency to speed up this development.

 Formerly the small hydro projects were in Uttar Pradesh Laghu Jal Vidyut Nigam limited  and  thereafter transferred to UP Jal Vidyut Nigam but after formation of Uttarakhand these project came under UJVNL, since then UJVNL (Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited) has shown serious interest in development of these projects.

 Hydro Power Classification

 Hydro Power projects are generally classified in two parts ie. Small hydro projects and large hydro projects. In India hydro projects upto 25 MW are considered as small hydro Projects where above 25 MW are considered as large hydro projects

 The small hydro projects are further classified as follows


Capacity in KW

Micro Hydro  Upto 100
Micro Hydro 100-2000
Small Hydro 2000 to 25000

Performance and Development of SHPs in Uttarakhand

Importance of Small Hydro Projects

Small hydro power Projects (SHPs) are an important, appropriate and profitable than other energy supply options and is a part of the full menu of energy options to be considered in meeting the needs of rural people more so in the remote and isolated locations in the hilly terrain of the state of Uttarakhand. SHPs compares well with the alternative energy supply options and has an important niche in the range of decentralized energy supply options. This niche is tightly demonstrated defined by the availability of adequate small-scale resource and as sufficiently concentrated density of demand, consisting of a need combined with purchasing power, to take advantage of a centralized, albeit small, power plant. SHPs have a great social bearing as it can provide rural people with electricity and create a sense of belonging to the modern world besides providing energy that can assist in securing the livelihoods of marginalized people. The SHPs are financially sustainable under the following conditions:-

1. A high load factor
2. A financially sustainable end-use
3. Costs are contained by good design and management.

There is a constraint in that costs of SHPs rise with the remoteness of the location but the cost of alternative options particularly diesel generator) may rise faster. SHPs in Uttarakhand in short will play an important role as growth engines for developing the economy of rural area which is isolated and remotely located. 
Uttarakhand has an estimated capacity of 3355.02 MW of SHP out of approximately estimated capacity of 26215 MW. The estimated capacity of small hydro projects of Uttarakhand is 12% of total estimated capacity of Hydro power in Uttarakhand and 10.23% of targeted contribution of Hydro in 10th Five Year Plan.

Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd. is primarily responsible for the development of Small Hydro power project in the state of Uttarakhand and is a nodal agency for the speedy development of the same.

In view of the above Government of Uttarakhand as well as Government of India are facilitating the development of small hydro projects in the state of Uttarakhand. The Small hydro projects have following distinct advantages:

a. Hydro power involves a clean process of power generation.

b. It is a renewable source of energy and contributes to the upliftment of the rural masses, especially projects located in remote and inaccessible areas.

c. It is the most cost effective option for power supply because it does not suffer from the limitation on account of fuel consumption.

d. Most small hydro projects in Uttarakhand are being developed in remote and backward areas where substantial support for economic development is actually needed.

e. Small hydro power contributes in solving the low voltage problem in the remote hilly areas and helping reducing the losses in transmission and distribution.

f. In certain cases projects are helpful in providing drinking water and irrigation facilities.

g. It helps in promoting the local industries in remote areas.

h. The development of small hydro projects requires minimum rehabilitation and resettlement as well as environmental problems.

i. Small hydro projects help in generating self employment in remote areas of the state.

j. Small hydro power projects helps in providing stable electricity supply at remote areas where such facility by other source shall be much costlier and unreliable.

 In Short we can say that SHP’s are

  • Simple to operate
  • Non Polluting
  • Minimum Maintenance
  • Environment friendly
  • Utilizes local resources
  • Take less time in construction
  • Can be used at places where grid is not possible.
  • The viability can be improved by incorporating the benefits of Carbon Trading

Small Hydro Plants

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