Varied interests in the energy and power sector viz., CDM, carbon rating, Monitoring & Evaluation, Energy Management, Rural Development; Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy related matters; Demand Side Management (DSM), Energy Audits, Distributed Power Generation (Biomass, Wind,Solar and Small Hydro), Participatory Management.

Friday, March 02, 2007

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32,000 rural houses have uninterrupted power in Nepal

BY BIKASH SANGRAULA

KIRNE, DOLAKHA, March 1 - Ask 13-year-old Samip Khadka questions from seventh grade textbooks, and he will answer most of them offhand. But ask him what he understands by "load-shedding", and he will scratch his head searching for an answer.

Samip, a student at Khimti Project School located at Kirne, Dolakha district, has never experienced load-shedding in his life. Kerosene lamps used to light his house till 2000. Ever since, electricity produced by the 620 kilowatt (kw) Jhankre power plant, built by the Khimti Project for locals, has lit without interruption 4,620 houses, including Samip's, in 10 VDCs here. For him, it was first no electricity, and then uninterrupted supply.

According to Gopal Tamang, principal of the school, the longest power cut the localities here faced since the Jhankre plant started generation lasted 11 seconds. "That was the time the power system here needed to recover after a system failure," he said.

Even as the capital faces power cuts for up to seven hours a day, as many as 32,000 lucky households in four pockets in the country, all located far from the capital, enjoy the rare luxury of round-the-clock power supply.

Apart from the Jhankre plant, which is located 175 kilometers east of the capital, the 12 megawatt (MW) Jhimruk Project in Pyuthan district and the 5.1 MW Andhikhola in Syangja provide uninterrupted power to 25,000 households in those two districts, while selling the rest of the electricity generated to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), according to Gyanendra Lal Pradhan, board director of Butwal Power Company, which runs the Jhimruk and Andhikhola plants.

Also, a 200 kw plant in Dolpa, run by NEA, provides uninterrupted power to over 2,000 households there, according to Govinda Sharma Pokharel, director of NEA's Small Hydropower and Rural Electrification Department. "The rest of the small plants run by NEA have already become saturated, making load-shedding necessary in localities supplied power by them," Pokharel said.

While the Jhankre plant and the small hydropower project in Dolpa were built to supply power exclucively to locals, Jhimruk and Andhikhola have workable connections with the national grid. Still, the latter two make sure, as a matter of priority, that locals get full use of their electricity, Pradhan said.

Narayan Dhwoj Khadka, chairman of Khimiti Rural Electric Cooperative Ltd., which operates the Jhankre plant in Dolakha, said that generation from the plant exceeds demand during daytime. "Unfortunately, there is no mechanism to supply surplus power to the national grid to augment supply elsewhere," he said.

In three years from now, the cooperative will own a one megawatt plant as well as a 400 kw plant that will be constructed by the Norwegian government and Himal Power Ltd, and will light another 3,000 houses. Including the two plants, transmission lines and Rs 10 million that Jhankre has collected in tariff so far, the cooperative will own tangible assets worth a whopping 400 million rupees after three years and become the richest electricity cooperative in the country, Khadka said.

Gopinath S
Chief Executive
nRG Consulting Services
Bangalore, India
Ph: 9180 26698211
Mob: 91 98455 11648
Website: http://business.vsnl.com/gopinath
Weblog: http://nrgcs.blogspot.com
 
 

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