Mangdechhu hydroelectric power plant

One of the projects inaugurated during PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Bhutan was the Mangdechhu hydroelectric power plant which has been built on the Mangdechhu river in the Trongsa Dzongkhag district of Bhutan.

What is the Mangdechhu hydroelectric power plant project?

  • The Mangdechhu hydroelectric power plant project is Rs 4500 crore hydroelectric power plant which aims to generate 720 MW of power.
  • It is a run-of-river system and has been developed by the Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project Authority (MHPA).
  • The Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project Authority (MHPA) was jointly constituted by the Indian and Bhutanese governments.
  • Bhutan aims to have a 10000 MW hydropower by the year 2020. It aims to utilize the support of the Indian Government to achieve this goal.
  • The Mangdechhu project has primarily been funded by India via a 70% loan and a 30% grant.
  • While most of the electricity generated by the Mangdechhu hydropower project will be used to meet the energy needs of Bhutan, the surplus electricity left will be exported to India.

What is a run-of-river system?

  • In the run-of-river hydroelectricity system, the energy is generated using the water flow with little or no water storage.
  • This reduces the need for large reservoirs and submergence of land which ultimately reduces the environmental cost of the project.
  • However, an RoR can only be implemented in a river which has a strong flow throughout the year.

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