Incessant rains across the region have raised water levels in the Pong and the Ranjit Sagar reservoirs, improving the average generation capacity at these two hydropower stations.
As on September 20, which under normal circumstances is considered to be the end of filling season for all reservoirs in the northern region, most of the hydropower stations were seen to be operating at about 40-60% of their installed capacity as tapering off of the monsoon had impacted energy levels at these power stations.
As the region received 20% of its monsoon rainfall in just two days, the authorities had to resort to opening of the floodgates at the Pong and the Ranjit Sagar dams. They closed the floodgates soon after the water receded.
As per the latest figures, the water level at the Pong was recorded at 410.06 m, while last year on the same day it was 407.93m. At Ranjit Sagar Dam, water has been recorded at 504.42m, which is almost similar to 504.82m that had been recorded last year. At the Bhakra Dam, the water level was 498.84m against 488.14m last year.
The inflow at the Pong Dam has been recorded at 79.46 cubic metres per sec (cusec) and outflow was 525.45 cusec and at Ranjit Sagar Dam the inflow of water was 58.22 cusec while 164.30 cusec were being used to generate power. At Bhakra the inflow was 192.27 cusec against an outflow of 525.45 cusec.
According to the chairman-cum-managing director of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), Baldev Singh Sran, more water in the dams was good news for them as it would reduce the dependence of the state on expensive thermal power. He said, “This can have a positive impact on the financial health of the PSPCL which till a few months back was facing an acute financial crisis.”
The CMD said this year the PSPCL had been able to sell extra power that was available at its disposal to the southern states through the open exchange and make good profits and in case more hydro is available to them, it means better profits which would pass on to the next fiscal as well.