With the power generated from Upper Tamakoshi Hydro Power Project getting connected to the national grid, around 400 MW of surplus electricity has remained unconsumed in the night.

The reserve electricity in the day is 200 MW. There was a time when the country was struggling for a single unit of power. The power distributing companies have more power surplus during monsoon.

"After the Upper Tamakoshi became operational, the country has become self-sufficient in electricity," said Kulman Ghising, executive director of Nepal Electricity Authority.

"A large volume of power being wasted is indeed not good. The NEA is incurring daily loss equivalent to Rs 40 million due to surplus power," according to Ghising.

India could be the best market for surplus power, but no green light has been given from India. He said that during his recent visit to India, Ghising had urged Indian officials to facilitate in finding an accessible market for the surplus power from Nepal. The NEA delegation discussed with the Indian side export of surplus power from Nepal to India and import of power from India during the lean period.

"NEA has proposed mutual seasonal electricity exchange with Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited to utilise surplus power generated during monsoon from various hydropower projects, including the 456-megawatt Upper Tamakoshi hydropower," said Ghising. "A proposal has been made for Nepal to supply the surplus electricity to Bihar during the monsoon and bring it from Bihar during the winter. In case of unequal amounts of electricity exchange between Nepal and Bihar, its price will be fixed through an appropriate method," he said. There has been electricity exchange between Nepal and India since 1971.

So far, the NEA has reached the power purchase agreement with 346 hydropower projects to purchase 6,176 megawatts electricity. Of them, 111 projects with 1,300 megawatts have been in operation. Likewise, 136 projects with 3,034 megawatts are under construction, and 99 other projects with 1,841 megawatts are under financial closing process, said the NEA.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 13 2021, of The Himalayan Times.