By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, September 4, 2018: The state run Odisha Hydro Power Corp (OHPC) plans to set up 600 megawatt (MW) pump storage plant of at an investment of Rs 3,000 crore to meet peak-hour rural electricity demand.

OHPC is looking at a private sector for the project planned near Upper Indravati multi-purpose reservoir, which already has an operational 600 MW hydropower plant. The idea is to use cheap solar power during off-peak hours to raise water to a height and then release it into lower reservoir to generate electricity.

The project is expected to reduce the average cost of electricity purchased by Grid Corporation of Odisha, according to IFC. Solar power generated during day needs to be stored in batteries. Given that battery storage is still expensive and needs to be replaced, pump-storage projects are being looked at as a viable option.

The private firm is expected to mobilise $210 million investment for the project, will be selected through a bid process run by World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), officials said.

With an average power demand of 4,000 MW, Odisha is betting big on this project.

“From 10 am to 5 pm when the solar power generation is good, the electricity demand is low. We want to supply electricity to the villages at night. In such a case, a hydro pump storage scheme provides an effective storage solution, thereby helping us supply electricity to the villages at night. It will make the villages safe and improve their socio-economic standards,” officials said.

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