Centre of Electricity
Trade Research and Facilitation (CETRF), a research center at the Department of
Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Kathmandu University organized a
one-day seminar on the topic “Cross Border Power Trade in the South Asia
Sub-Region: How Ready is Nepal?” on 13th June 2022 at Kathmandu.
The program officially
started by a welcome speech by Prof. Manish Pokharel, Dean of the School of
Engineering. The Principle Investigator of CETRF, Assistant Prof. Brajesh
Mishra presented the introduction and the objectives of the research center.
Dinesh Kumar Ghimire,
Secretary of the Water and Energy Commission Secreteriat; Prabal Adhikari,
Director of the Trade Department, NEA; Khadga B. Bisht, Executive Director of
MCA-Nepal; and Ashish Garg, Vice-President of the IPPAN gave their talks on
different issues related to the cross border power trade. The need of political
ownership, legal framework, policy reforms, infrastructure, financing, competitive
markets and geopolitics were some of the key issues that were discussed.
Associate Prof. Brijesh Adhikari, Associate Dean of the School of Engineering gave closing remarks highlighting the conclusions from the talks given by the speakers. The program ended with a panel discussion among some of the speakers and the faculties at KU and IoE regarding various issues of cross border power trade, which was moderated by Prof. Bhupendra Bimal Chhetri.
The event was a success, with about 70 participants from different Academic institutions, Nepal Electricity Authority, Independent Power Producers, Multinational agencies/institutions and national level media.
Title of Paper: Assessment on Scaling-Up of Mini-Grid Initiative: Case Study of Mini-Grid in Rural Nepal
A majority of Nepalese population are living in rural areas, where the electricity access by grid extension is not feasible. Development of micro-hydropower in the isolated state is one of the solutions to provide the electricity to these areas. However, the micro-hydro systems are facing numerous challenges, such as high investment cost, low reliability, low load factor and protection issues. For this reason, the concept of mini-grid has been developed to address the discussed challenges. In this study, a case study of a mini-grid, which is formed by interconnecting six isolated Micro Hydropower Plants (MHPs) with an installed capacity of 107 kW at a transmission voltage of 11 kV, is considered. This study performs the technical and financial analysis, to study the possibility for scaling up the system. Based on different factors, optimum models have been selected, considering a numbers of different cases including cost–benefit and sensitivity analysis. The mini-grid connection of several isolated MHPs is technically possible, but the financial feasibility depends upon various factors, such as the distance between the MHPs, end-use promotion, total capacity of MHPs, future load growth, promotion mechanisms, power trading with utility, etc. The findings show that sustainable operation of mini-grid requires the local capacity building, coordination, and understanding among community cooperatives.