We have earlier opined that mini hydel projects though very attractive to private equity players because of mature technology and attractive costs, have often turned out otherwise unless the due diligence goes beyond the usual into specifics of project, location, R&R issues and permits.
To add an interesting angle to this, in a rather surprising verdict, Bangalore High Court on Monday April 18, directed various hydel projects that have obtained permission from the state government(Karnataka) to function in Western Ghats, not to go ahead with the execution of the projects until further orders.
Anticipating such delays, there has been a lot of focus in the recent times on RoR projects and that from canals where these issues are minimal. In a recent announcement, as many as nine privatised hydropower projects in the district (Pune) will start generating 23.9 MW of electricity by next year.
These include Patgaon (2.5 MW), Kasari (2.5 MW), Jangamhatti (0.5 MW), Kumbhi (2.5 MW), Tulshi (1.6 MW), Jambre (4 MW), Chikotra (1.8 MW), Ghatprabha (8 MW) and Ambehol (0.5 MW).
A senior officer from the irrigation department said the power projects at Chitri (2 MW) and Radhanagari (10 MW) have already started generating power through privatisation. “The remaining projects will start generating power in a year,” he added.These hydropower projects, set up on build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis, will together generate 35.9 MW power for the district.“The BOT projects are taken up by various cooperative and private industries for 30 years. They recover their investment by selling electricity,” he said.
According to developers, BOT projects with all approvals in place, is one of the best ways to go forward in this regard as it gives maximum comfort to all the stakeholders involved in the process.