Bhandardara Power House I is built at the Bhandardara Dam, which is located in the Western Ghats, about 150 kilometers northeast of Mumbai in the western state of Maharashtra. The dam was built across the Pravara River in the 1920’s and forms a reservoir called Lake Arthur Hill.
Initially constructed as a 10 MW plant in 1984 by the Government of Maharashtra Water Resource Department, the project was bid in 1996 on a Build, Own, Operate, and Transfer basis after a fire in 1996 rendered the old Powerhouse unoperational. In addition to the rehabilitation of the damaged Powerhouse, the bid also called for an enhancement in the generating capacity of the project to 12 MW.
The project was eventually granted to the firm and was brought into operation and began to generate electricity at the increased capacity in July 2001. Power produced from the project has been sold to the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) by means of a Power Purchase Agreement for an initial term of 30 years.
Debt financing for the execution of the project was provided by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an institutional lending agency of the United States Government, and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), a Government of India enterprise dedicated towards the promotion of renewable sources of energy. Equity financing for the project was provided by the firm along with the Policemen and Firemen Retirement System of the City of Detroit, Michigan.
The project is unique in nature as it represents the first successful Private-Public partnership of its kind within the hydropower industry in the State of Maharashtra, which had previously been entirely under state control.
First hydropower project to be privatized by the State of Maharashtra, India.
First hydropower project to be executed on a Build, Own, Operate, and Transfer (B.O.O.T.) basis to achieve financial closure, construction and commercial operation by a U.S.-based independent power producer in India.
First project to be co-financed by two leading lenders from India and the USA: the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.