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THE MAHESHWAR DAM
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POWER

The SSP has a planned installed capacity of 1450 MW, of which 1200 MW will be generated by turbines installed in the river bed power house (RBPH) and 250 MW from the canal head power house (CHPH). However, installed capacity is not equal to actually produced power. Power will never be actually produced at 1450 MW. As the SSP planning documents show (Table 10), the amount of power that will be generated on a reliable basis (i.e. firm power), drops from 415 MW to 0 MW for the RBPH, and increases from 24 MW to 50 MW in the CHPH! Thus, the final firm power from the entire SSP is only 50 MW, while at its highest, the firm power from SSP is 439 MW.

TABLE 10
Firm Power Generation From the SSP
Source Installed Capacity
Firm Power (MW)
Initial Phase Final Phase
River Bed Power House 1200
415 0
Canal Head Power House 250
24 0
Total 1250
43950

The reason for this is very clear. As the dam impounds water in the beginning, water can be sent to the large turbines in the RBPH to generate power. However, this can be done only when there is enough water in the river. As the canals for the SSP are completed, water abstraction for irrigation will decrease water diverted to the RBPH turbines. The riverbed powerhouse will then stay idle except for periods of high "excess" flow and for periods of pumpback/generation from the Garudeshwar weir to meet peak demands for electricity. The final firm power generated by the RBPH is zero. The CHPH, on the other hand, will increase its generation to 50 MW as more water flows through the canals.



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