Site Suitability Using GIS

Topics: Hydroelectricity, Digital elevation model, Renewable energy Pages: 5 (1079 words) Published: May 3, 2013


Hydropower is one possible method of generating electric power close to potential consumers. The accessibility of the possible sites which are mostly located in mountainous regions, for which large amount of data is required, which consumes huge amount of money and time. Since small hydropower schemes, used to produce electrical energy which is benefited for nearby small towns, villages or small industries. Expensive ground investigations must be carefully targeted to the areas which are most likely to yield useful sites for hydropower development.

In order to cope with these problems, the present study proposes the use of Geospatial Technology & Soil Water Analysis Tool (SWAT) hydrological Model to select the feasible sites of small hydropower projects.

Using ArcGIS various thematic maps were generated such as Digital elevation model (DEM), Stream order network, Land Use and Soil maps etc. for the hydrological analysis. Discharge is simulated from the SWAT hydrological model. SWAT model is a conceptual, distributed, continuous-time hydrological model that can simulate the water, sediment, nutrients and pesticides cycle. To induce a level of confidence in the generated results, the catchment was modeled using Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) gridded precipitation and temperature datasets. The model was calibrated and validated with observed stream flows.

The reconnaissance study using GIS techniques identifies suitable site in Malapraba catchment likely to yield useful sites for small scale hydropower development. The hydrological factors yield a map representing an overall feasible potential site for small hydropower development. In the present study sub catchment 1 in Bennihalla, tributary of Malapraba river is more suitable for small scale hydropower plant with a power potential of 7.95 Mw.


Water is a precious, finite and scarce natural resource. It is a prime natural resource, a basic human need and a national asset. Clean and fresh drinking water is essential to human and other life forms. It is an essential natural resource for ecological sustenance, agriculture productivity, industrial growth, power production etc. In the recent times the non-renewable and exhaustible sources of energy are getting depleted at a very fast rate, which has focused attention to the non-exhaustible and renewable sources of energy. Hydropower is one of the most common renewable sources abundantly available in the hilly region. However, large hydro power plants are not being taken up for execution in sufficient number as these involve huge amount of funds and also the planning and construction period is very high. Therefore, with the increasing demand for power, the activities on small hydropower projects have accelerated in recent times. The small hydropower schemes are the appropriate solution to power demand as these require small capital investment and can be completed in a very short period of time.

Small hydropower plant, one of the earliest energy sources, has recently caught the countrywide attention despite a history of 100 years behind it, mainly because it is eco-friendly, has a short gestation period. The economic viability can be improved by using cost effective designs and new technology based turbines, controls, equipment and materials. In the present scenario of energy starvation, danger of global warming and depletion of fossil fuels and their rising prices, the small hydro has assumed significant complimentary role in the hydropower development, as means of environmental protection and socio-economic development of remote rural areas.

Scope of the Study
The result of the study is expected to boost the initiative for hydropower generation in the region considering the limitation of fossil fuels, increasing power demand and availability of untapped water resources. In...
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