After rainfall, hydropower dams rise above the dead storage level

After rainfall, hydropower dams rise above the dead storage level

Vietnam Electricity (EVN) announced on Tuesday that water levels in all hydroelectric reservoirs across Vietnam have risen above the threshold for safe electricity generation, thanks to recent rainfall. The Lai Chau dam’s water level is now at 282 m, which is 17 m above the dead water level, while Son La’s level is at 179 m, 4 m above the threshold. Ban Chat is at 438 m, 7 m above, and Tuyen Quang is at 96 m, 6 m above. Other reservoirs, such as Thac Ba, Huoi Quang, Ban Ve, and Tri An, are also above the safety level by 0.5-3 m.

The recent rainfall has caused higher inflows, resulting in the rise in storage levels. The 1,200-MW Lai Chau and 2,400-MW Son La hydropower plants, the largest and third-largest hydropower plants in Vietnam, have enough water to generate electricity again, but only for 90 hours and 50 hours, respectively, before the water levels drop back to dead levels. Therefore, they do not plan to restart the plants and will wait for peak summer when power demand surges.

Seven other plants, including Tuyen Quang, Huoi Quang, and Ban Chat in the north, Ben Va and Song Tranh 2 in the central region, and Dong Nai 3 and 4 in the south, are also down for the same reason. Hydropower production in the north, which accounted for 43% of supply until May, has slumped due to extreme weather that has dried up major dams. As of the end of May, they only had enough water to generate 1.23 billion kWh of electricity, enough to meet only four days’ demand based on a peak of 313.6 million kWh on May 22.

EVN said that 11 hydropower plants in the region have shut down due to the lack of water, taking 5,000 MW out of the grid. For over a month, many parts of the north have suffered power cuts amid unusually hot weather, many of them unannounced. The National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting expects the hot weather to continue until the end of June.

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