Tapovan Hydroelectric Project

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News: The NTPC’s 520 MW Tapovan Hydroelectric project has suffered losses due to flash flood in the Uttrakhand’s Rishiganga river on February 7, 2021.

The Tapovan Visuhugad power plant is located in Chamoli district of Uttrakhand, India. The power plant is a 520 MW run-of-river project being constructed on Dhauliganga river. The plant is supposed to generate around 2,558 GWh of electricity per year.

The project is on the Dhauliganga and Alaknanda rivers in the Garhwal Himalaya, Uttrakhand. The site includes the Nanda Devi Basin, which drains into the Rishiganga, a major tributary of the Dhauliganga.

Ecological Resources:

The project is in an ecologically sensitive region and dense forest. The Barrage site is about 5 km downstream of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, which extends down to the bank of the Dhauliganga. This biosphere reserve includes Nanda Devi National Park, which was on the World Heritage List in 1988 and is in the World Conservation Union (IUCN) management category.

The project area has Himalayan moist temperate forest and Himalayan dry temperate forest. The Chir pine is the dominant tree species.

Five species of fish are known to occur in the Dhauliganaga river: spotted snow trout (Schizothorax richardsonii), Neomacheilus montanas, sucker head (Garra gotyla), torrent minnow (Barilius sps.), and point-snouted snow trout (Schizothorax progastus).

Social and Culture:

The National Highway (NH) 58, passes from Joshimath town. This town is the local service centre, providing a base station for pilgrims/tourist visiting Shri Badrinathji, Hemkunt Sahib, and the Valley of Flowers.

What is Hydroelectric power project?

There are three types of hydropower facilities:

1. Impoundment

2. Diversion

3. Pumped Storage.

Impoundment:

In the hydroelectric power system, uses a dam to store river water in a reservoir. Water release from the reservoir flows through a turbine, spinning it, which turn activates a generator to produce electricity.

Diversion:

A diversion is sometimes called run-of-river, which facilitates a portion of a river through a canal or penstock. It may not require the use of a dam.

Pumped Storage:

It works like a battery, storing the electricity generated by other power sources like solar, wind, and nuclear for later use.  It stores energy by pumping water uphill to a reservoir at a higher elevation from a second reservoir at a lower height. Suppose the electricity demand is low, a pumped storage facility stores energy by pumping water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir. During periods of high electrical demand, the water is released back to the lower reservoir and turns a turbine, generating electricity. 

Source: Energy

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