Site Selection for Hydroelectric Power Plant:

The Site Selection for Hydroelectric Power Plant includes several structures like dam, conduits intakes, surge tank, power house and many others. It requires several investigation and study to determine the most economical solution.

The following factors must be considered while on site selection for hydroelectric power plant.

  • Water availability
  • Water storage
  • Water head
  • Accessibility of the site
  • Distance from load centre
  • Environment Aspects

Water Availability

The most important aspect for a hydel power plant is the water availability at the site because all designs are based on it. Therefore the run-off data for the proposed site should be available. It may not be possible to have run-off data but data as rainfall over the catchment area is always available.

From the data available, estimate should be made about, average quantity of water available, minimum and maximum quantity of water available throughout the year can be determined. The details of availability of water is necessary:

  • To setup peak load plants such as steam, diesel and gas turbine plant.
  • To decide the capacity of hydel electric plant.
  • To provide spillways (or) gate relief during flood period.

Water storage

There is a wide variation in rainfall over the year, so it is required to store water for continuous generation of power. By using mass curve, the storage capacity can be calculated. The expenditure on the project depends upon maximum storage.

There are two types of storages.

  • The storage is constructed to provide water for one year. In this case storage is full at the begin of the year and becomes empty by the end of year. So there is no shortage of water through out the year.
  • The storage is constructed to provide water in sufficient quantity even during the worst dry periods.

Water head

The available water head depends upon the topological conditions. To generate required quantity of power, it is necessary to provide large quantity of water at a sufficient head. An increase in head, for a given output reduces the quantity of water to be supplied to the turbines. Hence water is supplied to the turbine at high potential.

Accessibility of the site

The Site Selection for Hydroelectric Power Plant should be easily accessible in order to use the electrical power generated. Because once the electricity is produced it must be delivered where it is needed (homes, schools, office) etc., and power must be transmitted over some distance to its users near the plant site. The site should have transportation facilities of rail and road.

Distance from load centre

It is a supreme importance that the power plant must be setup near the load centre. If distance between the load centre is less from power plant, then cost of erection is reduced and maintenance of transmission line will be easier.

Environment Aspects

The land selected should be efficient and economical for the purpose of selection. The projects should be designed on the basic of best available information to enhance the local environment, and be in the best public interest.

The Site Selection for Hydroelectric Power Plant should fulfill the following requirements.

  • To assure safe, productive, healthy and culturally pleasing environment.
  • To preserve important cultural, historic and natural aspects of site.
  • To avoid health hazards and unintended consequences.
  • The land selected for the site should be cheap and rocky.