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West Bengal utility says it plans to focus on hydro development

India's West Bengal state hopes to use hydroelectric projects to increase its supply of water and energy, according to a new master plan that details potential hydro development along the North and South Bengal rivers.

The plan, released by the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company (WBSEDCL), said 6,300 MW of hydroelectric power could be produced by new conventional and pumped-storage hydropower projects within the state. WBSEDCL is also in the preliminary stages of identifying hydropower potential in existing canals and irrigation systems.

Already, the state-owned utility is preparing to prepare feasibility reports for conventional hydroelectric schemes in Darjeeling, and it has identified potential sites for a 1,000 MW pumped-storage facilities in Purulia district.

Sources said West Bengal's current hydroelectric installed capacity is about 1,080 MW.

HydroWorld.com reported earlier this month that India's Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) had reversed a decision that would have potentially stalled three other hydropower projects.

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