Kundah Dam Ooty – The Hydroelectric Power Plant
The Blue Mountains have always been shrouded in enthusiasm, and Ooty is no exception to that. For every mountain lover, the powerful idea of travelling to the city known as the Queen of the Hills holds a charm like no other.
Once considered as the summer headquarters of the East India Company, Ooty, also known as Udagamandalam, is a hill station in Tamil Nadu which toils as a very attractive tourist destination for anyone looking for a picturesque spot to relax and unwind. Ooty is nestled amidst the Nilgiri hills at an elevation of 2,240 meters above sea level and holds a favourable climate all year round.
Ooty oozes simplicity, devoid of any barriers, so anyone who visits the place can feel at one with the regional culture. The journey to Ooty itself is dotted with majestic sights of the awe-inspiring Nilgiri hills, tea estates, and cool waterfalls. The cool, serene landscape of Ooty is almost movie-like- winding mountains lanes that you can spend hours just walking on, and the beauty of old-world colonial construction infuses fresh air into the souls of tourists.
For anyone looking for a break from the mind-boggling humidity and the burning Indian sun, Ooty is the place to be. There are various places to visit in Ooty like Botanical garden, wax world, Kundah dam, Pykara dam, Boathouse, Dottabetta hills, and so on.
In Nilgiri Hills, about 28 dams have been built for impounding, diverting and regulating the water supplies for hydropower generation. Nilgiri Plateau is the convergence point of Western and Eastern Ghats.
Well-known Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is further adding beauty to these hills. Kunda forested hills are in a wide valley enclosed by steep-sided hill ranges/ basin. The whole of the Kundah basin has various reservoirs like Mukurthi, Parson’s Valley, Pykara, Emerald, Upper Bhavani etc.
The Kundah Hydro-electric Power Scheme is established in the Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the biggest electricity generating projects in Tamil Nadu State. The group of mountains Devarbatta, Karalkada, Koulingabetta and Porthimund, all over 2400 Metres ASL (above sea level) draining into two streams, Avalanche and Emerald. Avalanche and Emerald Dams, along with Upper Bhavani, form the major cause of water for the Kundah hydro-electric project. The Powerhouses were commissioned from the year 1960 to 1964.
Where is the Kundah dam located?
Kunda dam is located in Bikketti, a mountainous village in picturesque Nilgiris Hills near Ooty Hill station in Kundah Taluk of Nilgiris District of TamilNadu. No special permission is required to visit this dam. This dam is a symbol of India-Canada friendship and co-operation. The road trip from Ooty/Coonoor towards this dam offers scenic views of rolling valleys and forests.
What is the distance from nearby and major cities to Kundah Dam?
- Manjur Bus Stop – 3 kilometres
- Kil Kundah Bus Stop – 4 kilometres
- Ooty Bus Stand – 30 kilometres
- Coonoor – 32 kilometres
- Kotagiri – 49 kilometres
- Kinnakorai – 28 kilometres
Nearest railway station – Ooty Railway Station (32 kilometres), Mettupalayam Railway Station (57 kilometres)
Nearest airport – Coimbatore Airport (103 kilometres)
Kundah dam is situated on Manjur to Coonoor route. This place is well connected to Ooty and Coonoor by bus.
The Salient Features of the Kundah Hydro Power Plant:
The hydroelectric power plant also termed as a dam or hydropower plant is used for the production of electricity from the water on a large scale basis. The dam is constructed across the large river that has an adequate quantity of water throughout the river. In certain situations where the river is very wide, more than one dam can be constructed across the river at different locations.
The water flowing in the river maintains two types of energy: Kinetic energy due to the flow of water and potential energy due to the height of water. In hydroelectric power plants or dams, the potential energy of water is used to generate electricity.
In Kundah hydroelectric power plants, the potential energy of water due to its high location is transferred into electrical energy. The total power production capacity of the hydroelectric power plants depends on the source of water and volume of water streaming towards the water turbine.
It is the most extensively used form of renewable energy. Once a hydroelectric system is constructed, the project provides no direct waste and has a considerably lower output level of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) than fossil fuel-powered energy plants.
India was one of the pioneering nations in establishing hydro-electric power plants. The power plant at Darjeeling and Shimsha (Shivanasamudra) was built in 1898 and 1902 respectively and is one of the first in Asia. The installed capacity as on 31st March 2011 was nearly 37567.40 MW (i.e)., 21.64% (source CEA).
Out of total hydro generation, the state division contributes the highest 27257.00 MW, accompanied by PSU’s with a capacity of 8885.40 MW while the private sector estimates for only 1425.00MW (source CEA as on 31st March 2011).
How many powerhouses are there in Kundah dam?
There are six powerhouses located in Kunda dam which get sources from the different dam, they are:
Kundah Power House 1:
Kunda Power House 1 is found in Kundah Bridge, 25 km from Ooty. There are 3 units and the installed capacity of the powerhouse is 60MW and its elevation is 5353 feet. The water reservoir for the powerhouse is Avalanche and Emerald Dams.
Kundah Power House 2:
Kundah Power House 2 is established at Geddai, 16 km from Kundah/Manzoor. There are 5 units and the installed capacity of the powerhouse is 175MW and its elevation is 2876 feet. The water source for the powerhouse 2 is Kundah forebay dam, (the tailrace water of Power House-1) and its Forebay Capacity is 1000 Cusec.
Kundah Power House 3:
Kunda powerhouse 3 is located at Parali and its installed capacity is 180 MW (3*60) and has an elevation of 1429 feet. This powerhouse has one of the big power producing units in Kundah circle.
Kundah Power House 4:
Kunda Power House 4 is situated at Parali. There are 2 units and the installed capacity of the powerhouse is 100MW and its altitude is 1193 feet. The water source for the powerhouse is Pillur Dam, ( the tailrace water of Power House 3) and its Dam Capacity is 6000 Cusec.
Kundah Power House 5:
Kundah Power House 5 is established at Avalanche, 18 km from Kunda. There are 2 units and the installed capacity of the powerhouse is 40MW and has an elevation of 6527 feet. The water source for the powerhouse is Western Catchment Dam 1 and Upper Bhavani Dam and its Forebay Capacity is 700 Cusec.
Kundah Power House 6:
Kundah Power House 6 is situated at Kattukuppai. There is 1 unit and the installed capacity of the powerhouse is 30MW and elevation is 6518.95 feet. The water source for the powerhouse is Western Catchment Dams 2 & 3, Porthimund Dam and Parsons Valley Dam, and its Forebay Capacity is 683 Cusec.
The new foundation of Pumped-storage system in Kundah dam:
The TamilNadu government has laid the groundwork for the Kundah Pumped Storage Hydro-electric Project (4*125 MW), which would develop up at Kattukuppai in Nanjanad village in the Nilgiris.
This is a pumped storage hydro-electric project, a first of its kind in the Nilgiris, unlike traditional hydro projects. The excess energy available during off-peak time is to be used for pumping water from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir and the water will be used for power generation during peak time. The project is budgeted to cost Rs 1850 crore.
Under the project, Porthimund and Avalanche-Emerald lakes in the district would be used as the upper and lower reservoirs. An underground powerhouse is intended to house four units of 125 MW each, which can be reached through an underground tunnel. There is no usage of the surface area in this project and it is eco-friendly.
Pumped storage hydro-electric project was first established in Tamil Nadu at Kadamparai in 1984 and the Kundah pumped storage hydro-electric project is the second of its kind in Tamil Nadu. Porthimund and Avalanche-Emerald lakes in the Nilgiris were installed in 1965.
In the traditional method, power is produced or generated from particles of running water. In a pumped storage hydro-electric system, power is generated from the upper pool while there is a need for supply. While there is surplus power in the grid, water is elevated up to the upper reservoir. The available houses in the Nilgiris are used for power generation.
The project was funded by Rural Electrification Corporation (REC), the project is expected to be completed by 2022. With 500MW capacity, the project could produce 1095 million.