The Upper Sileru Pumped Storage Project will have a capacity of 1,350MW. Image Representative. (Credit: Sumanthk at English Wikipedia at
The Andhra Pradesh Power Generating Company Limited (APGENCO) is developing the project . (Credit: Global Water Partnership/ Flickr)
Sileru River is a tributary of Sabari River. In picture, Sabari River. (Credit: Adityamadhav83 at

The Upper Sileru Pumped Storage Project is a 1,350MW pumped storage project planned to be developed in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

The Andhra Pradesh Power Generating Company Limited (APGENCO), an undertaking of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, is developing the project.

The project is estimated to cost INR118.81bn ($1.4bn), including price escalation and infrastructure development charges.

APGENCO submitted Terms of Reference (TOR) to the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) of the Government of India in April 2019 to get environmental clearance for the project.

The TOR was granted in June 2019 to conduct Cumulative Environmental Impact Assessment (CEIA) Study for the project.

A draft final CEIA study was prepared and published in November 2022.

According to the study, the plant of the project will have an estimated design energy of 3,502 million units (MU) for about 8 hours and 10 minutes daily during a year.

In June 2023, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) approved the Upper Sileru Pumped Storage Project.

Upper Sileru Pumped Storage Project Location

The pumped storage project will be located on Sileru River in Gudem Kotha Veedhi Mandal of district Alluri Sitarama Raju in Andhra Pradesh.

The site is near Sileru village, around 200km from Visakhapatnam.

The project site is accessible via Rajahmundry airport located about 200km from the site and Narsipatnam rail head located about 110km from the site. The site can be reached via road from Vishakhapatnam.

The total forest and non-forest land required for the project are estimated to be 215.44 hectares (ha) and 117ha respectively.

Upper Sileru Pumped Storage Project Infrastructure 

The Upper Sileru Pumped Storage Project will involve constructing an approach channel of about 138m to feed water to three intake tunnels.

The intake tunnel will draw needed water through three headrace tunnels of 12m diameter each. The intake tunnel will be provided with a trash rack and gates.

The three headrace tunnels of about 2,768m in length will be constructed from the downstream of the intake structure to the upstream surge shaft.

The upstream surge shaft, open from above, will be constructed about 2,768m downstream of the intake structure.

From the shaft, nine 6m diameter pressure shafts will feed nine Francis turbine machines located in the powerhouse. The nine pumps and turbines will have an installed capacity of 150MW each.

The powerhouse is proposed to be developed on the left bank of the Sileru River and above the ground with the deepest excavation level of El 265m. It will be located about 358.75m downstream of the upstream surge shaft.

The powerhouse will supply electricity to the pothead yard via bus duct shafts. Transformers will be housed in the transformer hall.

The downstream surge shaft is proposed about 73.5m downstream of the powerhouse. The shaft will receive nine draft tube tunnels and three tailrace tunnels will come out from the shaft.

The three tailrace tunnels about 2,465m in length and 12m in diameter each will be located from the downstream surge shaft to the outlet structure near Donkarayi reservoir.

A coffer dam is proposed to be developed to separate the construction area from the reservoir and construct an intake structure and approach channel in the Guntawada reservoir and outlet structure.

The project will be constructed within 60 months as proposed in the CEIA study.

Upper Sileru Pumped Storage Project Operations

Particularly, the Upper Sileru Pumped Storage Project will aim to reutilise water of the Guntawada reservoir, which is used currently to generate power at the existing hydroelectric power station.

The reservoir will act as the upper reservoir and has a live storage capacity of 3.108 thousand million cubic feet (TMC).

The Donkarayi reservoir near the Donkarayi village will be the lower reservoir for the project and will operate as a peak station. Currently, it is also operating and has a live storage capacity of 13.30 TMC.

The pumped storage project will use around 1.7 TMC of water for operations to ensure the existing commitments at Donkarayi Reservoir remain unaffected.

Contractor Involved

WAPCOS, a public sector enterprise, was selected by APGENCO to prepare the CEIA study for the pumped storage project.