The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) generated 8,854 megawatts (MW) of hydel power during peak hours of Sunday night, which was the highest level recorded in the ongoing year.

According to statistics released by Wapda on Monday, the electricity output registered an increase of about 1,277MW compared to the previous year, owing to maximum generation by the Tarbela Hydel Power Station and Tarbela 4th Extension Hydel Power Station.

The data suggested that the Tarbela Hydel Power Station cumulatively generated 4,926MW, which was much higher than the installed capacity of 4,888MW.

“Mangla Hydel Power Station contributed 920MW, Ghazi Barotha 1,450MW and Neelum-Jhelum 850MW while other stations collectively added 708MW to the national grid,” a statement said.

Wapda currently owns and operates 22 hydel power stations, including Neelum-Jhelum, with installed generation capacity of 9,406MW. On average, these stations add 37 billion units of electricity per annum to the grid.

It is pertinent to mention that the use of hydel power assists in lowering the overall consumer tariff given that electricity generated through other channels is costly.

“Wapda is implementing a low-cost energy generation plan to enhance the share of hydel electricity in the grid,” it stated. “A number of projects are being constructed in the hydropower sector and they are expected to be completed by 2028-29.”

It added that all these schemes were expected to double the hydel generation capacity from 9,406MW to 18,431MW.

Similarly, Wapda’s contribution would increase from the existing 37 billion units to over 81 billion units per annum, it said.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2021.

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