Water Neutral Electricity Production in India: Avoiding the Unmanageable
Water scarcity has the potential to impact the financial viability of thermal power plants by affecting the project’s rate of return. This could be due to delays in project execution leading to cost escalation and revenue losses, as well as due to affects during the operating life of the project. During operations, any drop in plant load factor may reduce the revenues. It has been assessed that each 5% drop in plant load factor results in a drop of nearly 0.75% in the project's rate of return. Also, additional expenses may be required for digging ponds/ drawing canals or pipelines, for extracting water from alternate/ backup sources.
Moreover, compliance with the environmental regulations related to maintenance of discharge water quality or quantity of water extracted from the source, have cost burden on the plant operations. Quality of intake water affects the operational expenses related to the production of Demineralized (DM) water. For example, the presence of colloidal silica in intake water could increase the cost of DM water production, exorbitantly.