HP signs 259 pacts with Independent Power Producers

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Shimla, Sep 13 (UNI) The Himachal Pradesh government has so far signed 259 MoUs with an aggregate capacity of 829.35 MW for projects up to 5 MW with Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

Himachal Pradesh Chief Secretary Asha Swroop, while presiding over first conference on Hydro Power Policy at HIPA here today, said over next five years the government aims to ensure a total installed capacity of 12,000 MW through medium and large projects and another 500 MW would be realised through small hydro projects by the end of 2012.

''The vision of the government is to make Himachal Pradesh a power state by harnessing the hydel potential spread across the whole territory of the state,'' she said.

Himachal has a potential of 21,000 MW in total, out of which nearly 2,000 MW has been assessed in the category of small hydel projects with a capacity upto 25 MW.

Total potential of 6,255 MW has been harnessed through larger projects and 51.15 MW capacity has been realised through small hydro projects up to 5 MW capacity, she added.

''Being environment friendly, small hydro electric projects involving low running costs are becoming increasingly competitive with thermal, diesel or gas based generation power projects,'' she said.

''These projects are bringing a number of secondary benefits to the area that is opening up of hinterland, economic growth of small villages and towns, new business opportunities, availability of educational, health and transport services as well as availability of employment to the local population,'' she said.

She said the year-2008 could be called the centennial year of HP Hydro, as Bhuri Singh Power House in Chamba district and Chaba in Shimla district were commissioned in 1908 in the 20th century and it was a matter of great pride that these are still in operation after a century.

She hoped that during the conference, attended by 150 IPPs and number of state government officals, valuable suggestions of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) would be looked into by the government and based on the feedback from this conference, the policy changes would be framed.

UNI XC PS SBA NS1805

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