The Pumped-storage Hydroelectric (PSH) projects which are developed at a large scale in the state have gained national recognition with the Centre announcing it as a model project.
West Bengal is a pioneer in generating energy from PSH projects with an estimated pumped storage capacity of 4,800 megawatt, one of the largest in the country.
The State is already producing energy at the Purulia PSH Project at Ayodhya Hills having a capacity of 900 MW. The other four -Turga with a capacity of 1000 MW, Bandu with capacity of 900 MW, Kathlajal Nala and Coolbera Nala PSH with 900 and 1100 MW capacity are also coming up at Ayodhhya hills.
The whole project has been supervised by the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (WBSEDCL). The Detailed Project Report (DPR) of Tugra PSH project has been submitted to Central Electricity Authority. The project is expected to be completed by 2021.
In case of Bandu PSH, the pre-feasibility report was filed and the processes for making DPR is underway. Spots have been identified for the Kathlajal and Coolbera Nala PSH projects.
Under PSH projects, water is stored in the form of potential energy in an upper reservoir, pumped from another reservoir at a lower elevation.
At the time of high electricity demand, power is generated by releasing the stored water through turbines in the same manner as a conventional hydropower station.
During the period of low demand, usually during nights or weekends, excessive electricity is generated at low cost.
Pumped storage hydropower can provide energy balancing, stability, storage capacity and better grid management such as network frequency control.
The PSH projects have been functioning in the United States and Europe but in India, the projects failed to kick off.
West Bengal is the only successful state in the country to produce energy through PSH project at Ayodhya Hills.
A senior official of the WBSEDCL said that the Centre has announced PSH projects in West Bengal as a model and has asked other states to replicate it.
He also informed that PSH projects are running successfully in the state and has helped in managing the growing demand for energy.
“West Bengal is a pioneer in successfully and effectively developing the projects in planned manner.
“The Centre had announced 900 MW Purulia Pumped Storage Project as the best-running PSH in India,” he said.