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Green energy: UP plans hydropower projects totalling Rs 15,000 crore

UP has set a target to generate 22,000 mw of renewable energy over the next five years spanning solar and other sources

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Virendra Singh Rawat Lucknow

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Reinforcing its commitment to green energy, the Uttar Pradesh government has planned three hydropower projects totalling 3,250 megawatts (MW) in the traditionally underserved Eastern UP region.

These three plants, set to be established by private companies including Torrent Power, will necessitate the acquisition or utilisation of more than 1,000 hectares of land in the districts of Sonbhadra, Chandauli, and Mirzapur.

With the peak hour power demand in Uttar Pradesh surpassing the 25,000 MW mark, the state government is faced with the urgent need to harness alternative and renewable energy sources to augment thermal power generation.

The UP infrastructure and industrial development commissioner, Manoj Kumar Singh, has already given in-principle approval to the proposed hydroelectric plants.

According to a government spokesperson, "The three hydroelectric projects will encompass an investment of nearly Rs 15,000 crore and create about 10,000 new job opportunities."

Additionally, these projects are expected to transform the socio-economic landscape of the three districts, stimulating growth in various sectors including infrastructure, housing, tourism, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), logistics, education, and more.

A Gurugram-based private company will establish two pumped storage hydropower (PSH) plants in Chandauli and Mirzapur districts, with capacities of 900 MW and 600 MW respectively, requiring a total land area of 670 hectares. The company entered into an agreement with the state in April 2023 for these projects.

PSH functions like a battery, storing power and releasing it as needed, based on the demand and supply matrix. It consists of two water reservoirs at different elevations, generating power as water flows from one to the other (discharge), passing through a turbine. The PSH system utilises power to pump water back into the upper reservoir (recharge). Importantly, since these projects are not connected to any river system, they will not disturb the local water ecology.

In a related development, Torrent Power will construct a hydroelectric plant in Sonbhadra district, with water supplied from the Son river. The land requirement for this project has been assessed at 375 hectares.

Uttar Pradesh has set a goal to generate 22,000 MW of renewable energy over the next five years from sources including solar energy.

Furthermore, the Yogi Adityanath government is also keen to explore green hydrogen potential, in alignment with the Centre's initiative. Green hydrogen, produced by breaking down water in an electrolyser using renewable energy, can be combined with nitrogen to create 'green' ammonia. This process avoids the release of planet-warming hydrocarbons. Green ammonia serves as an energy storage medium and is also used in the production of fertilisers.

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First Published: Aug 23 2023 | 11:23 PM IST

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