As we always used to say seeing is believing: Team Energy Update on 26th January, 2019 visited the 150 KW mini micro hydro power plant installed in Village Lalkoo, Union Council Sakhra, Tehsil Matta, District Swat, KPK. The Rs 40 million project was developed by Pkhtunkhwa Energy Development Organization (PEDO) with Sarhad Rural Support Programme as its implementation agency.
Inaugurated in August, 2016, the low-cost renewable energy project has been providing like uninterrupted power supply to over 300 nearby houses since day one of its inception. It is one of the 105 such small hydro power plants being developed in Districts Shangla, Swat, and Kohistan by the Pedo. Out of these 105 plants, 93 have been completed. It provides perfect off-grid power supply solution for villages in KPK that is a perfectly community-owned, community-led, and environment friendly energy initiative. Moreover, turbines and related equipment for such mini power plants are all locally assembled.
The power plant of Village Lalkoo will soon attain the stage of financial self-sufficiency as a proper billing system will be launched for the connected houses as each household paying monthly electricity charges as low as Rs 300 would enable the power plant to ably meet its recurring/maintenance expenses. Run-of-the-river power generation is the best way to tap the vast hydro resource of the country for renewable power generation without involving much cost.
The initiative of KPK government to install 356 mini micro power plants across the province had become a much politicized issue before the General Elections-2018 with the detractors of the provincial government of PTI terming it yet another failure of the provincial authorities concerned. The visit proved the notion wrong to a large extent with the firm belief that such good energy/technical/infrastructure initiatives shouldn’t unnecessarily be dragged into the domain of politics just to do political point scoring against the opponents or for vested political interests. Team Energy Update appreciate good performance of kpk govt and PEDO. We hope progress mini hydro projects will continue.