Clean, renewable hydropower from Bhutan’s mountain rivers has potential to generate 30,000 MW of electricity.
1. Chukha Hydropower Plant
Located in Chukha, the 336 MW Chukha Hydel was Bhutan’s first mega power project. The construction began in the 1970s funded by the Government of India under 60% grants and 40% loan. The plant was commissioned in 1986 and generates 336 MW in summers from four turbines off the flow of the Wangchu River. The plant was built at the cost of Nu. 2.46 billion.
2. Tala Hydropower Plant
The 1,020 MW Tala Hydropower Plant is run-of-the-river power plant on the Wangchu River, located just a few kilometers below the Chukha Power Plant. The construction began in 1997 at the cost of US$900 million funded by Government of India through 60% grant and 40% loan. The plant has 6 pelton turbine-generators and was commissioned in 2007. All of the electricity generated is exported to India.
3. Kurichhu Hydropower Plant
The run-of-the-river type Kurichhu Hydropower Project is located on Kurichu River in Mongar. The construction works began in 1994. The plant became fully operational in 2002. It generates 60 MW of electricity, much of which is exported to India. The Government of India financed the project with 60% of the cost as grant and 40% loan. The total cost of the project was Nu. 5.6 billion.
4. Basochhu Hydropower Plant
The Basochhu power plant I and II, located in Wangdi were built with Austrian technical and financial assistance. Basochhu I has a capacity of 24 MW and Basochhu II has a capacity of 40MW. The plant is fully computerized. The plant’s turbines are powered by water on a fall. The erection works for Basochhu were started in 1997. In 2004 Basochhu II were set into operation. The construction cost of Phase I was Nu. 342 million and Phase II, Nu. 1422 million.
5. Dagachhu Hydropower Plant
The 126 MW Dagachhu Hydropower Project is run-of-the-river scheme located on the left bank of the Dagachu in Dagana. It is the first hydropower project managed by a Bhutanese team with a review consultant from Austria. Druk Green Power Corporation holds 59% of equity in the project, Tata Power Co. Ltd. holds 26% and NPPF has the remaining 15%. With budget of 8.16 billion, the construction of the plant began in 2007 and commissioned in 2015.
*The 720 MW Mangdechu Hydropower Project in Trongsa is nearing completion and expected to commission in 2019.