Alaknanda Hydroelectric Project, India

Alaknanda Hydro Power Company (AHPCL) is developing the 330MW Alaknanda (formerly Shrinagar) hydroelectric project on the Alaknanda River in Uttarakhand, India. AHPCL, a GVK group company, is implementing the greenfield project pursuant to an implementation agreement signed on 10 February 2006 with the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Governments.

The project, built at a cost of INR45.73bn ($728m), is expected to generate approximately 1,514GWh of energy a year, including 1,397GWh of primary energy, and 117GWh of secondary energy.

The project was officially inaugurated in March 2014 and the first unit was successfully synchronised with the Northern Grid on 10 April 2015. The other three units are expected to be synchronised by the end of June 2015.

The project was initially proposed to commence operations in 2013, but delayed due to an unprecedented natural calamity that occurred in June 2013. The incessant rains and resultant floods breached the dyke in front of the power house with a huge deposit of silt, which has been cleaned.

Alaknanda hydroelectric power project details
The Alaknanda hydroelectric power plant is located near Gaurshali Village, 10km from Shrinagar District of Uttarakhand.

The run-of-river hydro project is expected to reduce the northern grid’s dependence on fossil fuel to produce power. It includes the construction of a 98m-tall concrete gravity diversion dam, a head race tunnel, six intake tunnels, a desilting basin, a power house, a tail race channel, and a switchyard.

The project features two 1,100m-long head race tunnels constructed to convey water to the power house. The desilting basin is located at the end of the RCC trough section. The intake structures are located at the end of fore bay, which comprises four penstocks.

The power house is located on surface and consist of four 82.5MW Francis turbine units, with a net head of 66m and design discharge of 560m³/s. The turbine generator is a vertical shaft synchronous machine with a rated continuous output of 97.06MVA and a rated speed of 166.6rpm. The turbines are controlled by electro-hydraulic modern type governors.

The switchyard consists of four 400kV outgoing transmission line bays.

Power offtake and transmission from Alaknanda HEP

AHPCL signed a 30-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation in June 2006 to sell approximately 88% of the power generated by the plant. The PPA was signed in June 2006. Uttarakhand state will receive the remaining 12% power free of charge.

The 13.8kV power generated by the turbo generator will be stepped up to 400kV by atransformer. It will be evacuated and connected to the Shrinagar substation through an under-construction 13km-long 400kV double circuit transmission line.

Financing of Alaknanda power project

The project achieved financial closure in August 2007. It was initially estimated to cost INR20.69bn, but revised to INR36.75bn in 2011 but ultimately cost INR 45.73bn due to the delays.

Contractors involved with GVK’s hydroelectric project

BHEL was awarded the contract for the supply, erection and commissioning of four turbine generator units , auxiliaries and electro-mechanical works for the project.

SMEC conducted detailed engineering services, including the preparation of tender documents, for the project.

Ocimum Constructions was awarded the contract for conducting concrete works required for the civil works of the 330MW hydroelectric power project.