Telangana will have its first major private sector power project with 3,960 MW installed capacity in the next three to four years if everything goes according to plan. It would be a pumped storage hydro-electric power project at Ippagudem village in Venkatapuram mandal of Mulugu district.

The off-stream closed loop project seeks to draw 1.65 tmcft of water from nearby Godavari river, located about 3.5 km away from one (lower) of the two reservoirs planned to store the water and use it cyclically for generation of power in pumping mode. The project proposed by Greenko Energies Private Limited (GEPL) is estimated to cost about ₹18,203 crore and planned to be completed in a period of 36 months.

An expert appraisal committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on river valley and hydroelectric projects that met over video linkage a couple of weeks back has recommended grant of terms of reference (ToR) for appraisal of the project proposal. The project involves diversion of about 906 hectares of forest land and the proponent plans to seek forest clearance, for diversion of the land, as well as other statutory clearance from the State and Central governments after completion of the detailed project report.

According to the details submitted to the MoEF panel, the pumped storage hydroelectric project would have two reservoirs – upper and lower – to be constructed with rock-fill embankment with central clay core. The proponent submitted to the expert panel that the upper reservoir with a gross storage capacity of 1.62 tmcft is proposed to be located on flat/gradually sloping land with embankment running for length of 5,635 metres and height up to 45 metres.

The lower reservoir is proposed with a gross storage capacity of 1.65 tmcft and its rock-fill embankment would run for a length of 2,231 metres with its height up to 38 metres. Evaporation losses, if any would be recouped periodically from the rivers since the project envisages non-consumptive re-utilisation of 1.55 tmcft water for re-circulation between the two proposed reservoirs. The panel was also informed that the two reservoirs do not have any catchment area and inflow from rainfall is negligible.

Water conductor system in the project consists of 6 independent pen stocks or pressure shafts taking off from power block of the upper reservoir and each pen stock would get bifurcated into two near the power house to feed water into 12 turbines. A surface power house would be located on the downstream of the power block to be equipped with 12 vertical reversible motor pumps with capacity of 330 MW each.

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