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Nepal Micro-Hydro Projects 

Improve the productivity of micro-hydros to nourish economic development, including economic opportunities for women, in the local communities served by the micro-hydro installations.

Askam wind farm

Based in Kathmandu, the Nepal Energy Foundation (NEF) focuses on capacity building and improving productive use of distributed renewable energy. NEF and Smarter Microgrid Ltd (SML) are working closely with local technical experts at Kathmandu Alternative Power and Energy Group (KAPEG) to identify and to validate how the productivity of micro-hydro installations in Nepal can be significantly improved. 

The innovation is not only in the integration of appropriate technologies, but also in the continual use of the data collected to enable, and to assist with organising, sustainable local socio-economic development - a valuable multi-dimensional collaboration which improves economic outcomes. 

The basis of the project is to use SML’s Unified Management System (UMS) to measure the appropriate data, and to publish the data in relevant dashboards, reports and alerts, in order to ascertain, and validate, how productivity improvements can be achieved through optimising utilisation of the micro-hydro assets already invested in.

The key objectives:

  • Commissioning of the mediation devices and their installation onto the appropriate places across the micro-hydro installations.
  • Trial of UMS, which uses the data collected from the mediation devices to measure, and then to improve the reliability, operability and durability of the micro-hydro asset.
  • Ascertain how such improvement in productivity of the micro-hydro generation could provide economic development opportunities, including for women in the local communities. 

Project locations

Jhumsa Khola Micro Hydro 2 (JK2) and 3 (JK3) projects are located at Mathagadi-5, Palpa.

The MHPs are at a distance of 19.8 km from the East-West Highway. The road leading to both of the above-mentioned MHPs is same. Same river flows between the MHP premise and the road. The installed capacity of the JK2 is 30kW and is supplying 283 domestic and some commercial (mills, hotels and restaurants) consumers. 


The JK3 installed capacity of the micro hydro is 68kW and is supplying electricity to 503 consumers
utilizing the electricity mostly for domestic purposes

Socio-economic survey

In our innovative, multi-dimensional approach, NEF carried out a socio-economic survey, so that the situation before deployment of the UMS can be sufficiently well understood, and compared with the improvements after deployment of the system, and beyond.

This goal relates to expanding existing productive uses as well as creating new productive uses, including rice mills, carpenters, shopkeepers, tailors, education services and medical facilities.


Technical overview 

The project focuses on obtaining key data measurements from the generator and the dump load at the MHP. Below is the list of key components achieving this goal: 


Generator and heaters (dump load) meter instrumentation

installation of a 3-phase meter to obtain the energy data.


Uninterrupted Power Supply

provides uninterrupted power to the devices above during the generator downtimes


PoE switch

the meditation device uses a dedicated 4g modem to connect to the internet but uses the PoE network to form communication between the rest of the devices at MHP


Temperature sensor

the sensor provides a live reading of the generator’s temperature


This project has three primary steps, starting with the Jhumsa Khola pilots, the broader goal is to improve the productivity of 2000+ micro-hydros across Nepal using the SML’s Unified Management System. We have successfully completed the first step of the project in Q1 2022. 

Following the successful first phase of UMS installation, the data from the MHP immediately revelieved some interesting information that pointed to under utilisation of the generators.

SML and NEF are working closely on to create a list of potential entertprises that exploit the potential energy from the generator and, based on the socio economic survey, provide the most value to the community. 


Micro-hydro instrumentation 

Deploy UMS at the pilot sites and collect key data that reveal the existing operation schemes of the MHP


Improve productivity 

Ascertain economic development possibilities, including further opportunities for women in the local communities served by the MHP



There are 2000 other similar size micro-hydro sites across Nepal. Our goal is to use the UMS to improve their reliability and productivity at an affordable cost

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