Na­tion’s pride and na­tional need

1,200KV POWER TRANS­MIS­SION

Electrical Monitor - - EDITORIAL -

The lad­der of suc­cess is best climbed by step­ping on the rungs of op­por­tu­nity — Ayn Rand

In­dia’s ef­forts to build power trans­mis­sion lines at ul­tra high volt­age of 1,200kV are laud­able. The Bina test sta­tion of Cen­tral util­ity Power Grid Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia—a pi­lot project that will val­i­date 1,200kV tech­nol­ogy— is un­der­stood to be per­form­ing sat­is­fac­to­rily. Within the next 2-3 years, In­dia should be able to put up its first commercial 1,200kV line, which by cur­rent think­ing would be the 400-km Wardha-Au­rangabad line in Ma­ha­rash­tra. The 1,200kV ex­per­i­ment has re­ceived en­thu­si­as­tic sup­port from the In­dian equip­ment man­u­fac­turer and con­trac­tor fra­ter­nity. The Bina test sta­tion has been built en­tirely through indige­nous tech­nol­ogy; this points to the strong pos­si­bil­ity of In­dia be­com­ing self-re­liant in the 1,200kV regime. Af­ter all, In­dia will be the first coun­try in the world to have power trans­mis­sion lines at 1,200kV. China, in­ci­den­tally, has gone up to 1,000kV so far. The true test for In­dia now is to en­sure the vi­a­bil­ity of commercial 1,200kV lines. The 2-km Bina test line is only a pi­lot project. The chal­lenges and con­cerns of run­ning commercial lines at 1,200kV, and cov­er­ing dis­tances of at least a few hun­dred kilo­me­ters, will also un­fold with time. It is very in­ter­est­ing to note that coun­tries like Italy, Ja­pan and Rus­sia have un­der­taken pi­o­neer­ing work in the field of UHVAC trans­mis­sion. It is even more in­ter­est­ing to ob­serve that none of these coun­tries are run­ning these UHV lines as there is no need to trans­mit huge quan­tum of elec­tric­ity over long dis­tances, as orig­i­nally en­vis­aged. Un­like these coun­tries, In­dia will def­i­nitely need to pur­sue power trans­mis­sion at ul­tra high volt­ages. In­dia’s plans very much in­clude large-ca­pac­ity plants, which would typ­i­cally be the ul­tra mega power project se­ries, large hy­dropower plants and mega nu­clear plants. In­dia’s power gen­er­a­tion cen­tres—east and north­east In­dia—are dif­fer­ent from con­sump­tion cen­tres, ne­ces­si­tat­ing bulk in­ter­re­gional power trans­fer. Lines at 1,200kV will be one com­po­nent of In­dia’s emerg­ing power trans­mis­sion in­fra­struc­ture. In­dia will need to har­ness the tech­ni­cal ad­van­tages of both AC and DC tech­nol­ogy, which gives am­ple scope for HVDC lines. Al­ready there are HVDC lines of ±800kV in the mak­ing. Ef­fi­cient power trans­mis­sion lines will ul­ti­mately de­ter­mine In­dia’s abil­ity to bring power to its re­motest con­sumers. Tech­nol­ogy will play a key role in build­ing this ef­fi­ciency, and in this reck­on­ing, 1,200kV is cer­tainly an op­por­tu­nity that needs to be ex­ploited to the fullest.

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