Small Hydro Plants
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

Class 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:-

  • A high load factor
  • A financially sustainable end-use
  • 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:

  • Hydro power involves a clean process of power generation.
  • It is a renewable source of energy and contributes to the upliftment of the rural masses, especially projects located in remote and inaccessible areas.
  • It is the most cost effective option for power supply because it does not suffer from the limitation on account of fuel consumption.
  • Most small hydro projects in Uttarakhand are being developed in remote and backward areas where substantial support for economic development is actually needed.
  • Small hydro power contributes in solving the low voltage problem in the remote hilly areas and helping reducing the losses in transmission and distribution.
  • In certain cases projects are helpful in providing drinking water and irrigation facilities.
  • It helps in promoting the local industries in remote areas.
  • The development of small hydro projects requires minimum rehabilitation and resettlement as well as environmental problems.
  • Small hydro projects help in generating self employment in remote areas of the state.
  • 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


Performance and Development of SHPs in Uttarakhand

Policy of UJVNL in the construction of Small Hydro Power Plants

The SHP Plant wing of UJVNL was christened with the purpose
  • Improvement in civil design and relocation of project site.
  • Design and maintenance of Electrical Equipments at Nigams’s level.
  • Monitoring of Daily Generation.
  • Operations of project by Nigam that were earlier operated by contractors.
  • Construction of new projects.
  • Increasing generation by completing the incomplete project.
  • Investigation & development of new projects.
  • To avail the CDM benefits under the Kyoto Protocol to make SHP’s more viable.


UJVNL for early realization of the capacity in SHP would be focusing on the construction of the projects above 3 MW and accordingly the following policies has been adopted for the Implementation, operation & Maintenance of the SHP in the State

  • Construction of small hydro projects of 3 MW and larger capacities in general.
  • Operation of Power Stations by Nigam's staff except under special circumstances.


Performance of SHPs

Integrated efforts by UJVNL have steadily increased the generation of SHP after 9.11.2001 and details are given below:-

Year Generation (In MU)
2000-01 25.6494
2001-02 30.1242
2002-03 40.9361
2003-04 36.3510
2004-05 40.1692
2005-06 46.2272
2006-07 42.8374
2007-08 42.2933
2008-09 44.3421
2009-10 44.1054
2010-11 Upto July 2010 14.7749


Year wise generation- Graph


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Future Plan of Capacity Addition

Project Under Development

Projects Under Construction

Suspended Projects