Basochhu Hydropower Plant

Project scheme           :  Run-of-the-river
Project commission   :  2001 – 2004

Basochhu hydropower plant (BHP) in Wangduephodrang is one of the power plants of DGPC. The plant comprises an upper stage (U/S) and a lower stage (L/S).

The U/S taps Basochhu from above Chhubotoraysa waterfall. The discharge from the U/S is made available for the generation of electricity at the L/S through a pondage scheme. The L/S taps 8 cubic meters of water per second from the tailrace of the U/S and an additional flow of 2 cubic meters per second from Rurichhu.

Operation and Maintenance

BHP was constructed mainly to meet the domestic energy demand in Western Bhutan. It is automated with micro SCADA 8.x systems from ABB and Alstom at the U/S and L/S respectively. Hence, all operational controls of U/S, pondage and intakes are carried out remotely from the central control centre at L/S.

The electricity generated from BHP is sold to Bhutan Power Corporation Limited for domestic consumption. BHP provides 15% of the annual energy production as royalty energy to RGoB.

Renovation and Modernisation

The SCADA system at the powerhouse was upgraded by GE in 2018. The SCADA system for the 220 kV Rurichhu switchyard was upgraded by BHUTAN AUTOMATION in 2021.

Socio-Economic Benefits and Sustainability

BHP has supported the development of Hebisa and other villages under Gase Tsogom gewog since its establishment. The project has enabled infrastructural growth through a school, road network, medical and telecommunication facilities within the project area.

BHP continues to support the Druk Green “Being Green” initiative through regular landscaping and plantation activities. The plant is conscious of the need to maintain a sense of harmony with the community and environment. In doing so, BHP initiates the maintenance and protection of downstream aquatic life. Further, BHP sensitises the social and environmental issues that confront the hydropower sector, thereby ensuring a healthy and sustainable environment.

A major initiative by DGPC management is the establishment of early childhood care and development centres across its offices. This has eased the burden on working parents, resulting in efficiency in the workplace.