Em­pow­er­ing In­dia

Electrical Monitor - - LEAD STORY -

the T&D sec­tor. In this spe­cial story, we at­tempt to dis­cuss some of them.

Trans­mis­sion: As of De­cem­ber 2015, In­dia’s to­tal in­stalled power ca­pac­ity, in­clud­ing re­new­ables, stood at around 2.84 lakh mw. Over the past five years or so, In­dia’s power gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity has in­creased by over 50 per cent while trans­mis­sion ca­pac­ity has shown a growth of just around 25-30 per cent. Thus, for ef­fec­tive evac­u­a­tion of power gen­er­ated, trans­mis­sion in­fra­struc­ture needs to grow com­men­su­rately. In­dia is a vast coun­try where con­sump­tion ar­eas are very dif­fer­ent from gen­er­at­ing cen­tres. For in­stance, north­east houses the hy­dropower po­ten­tial whereas east­ern In­dia is the main source of ther­mal power. Con­sump­tion cen­tres, on the other hand, are north, south and western In­dia. This calls for high-ca­pac­ity trans­fer of elec­tric­ity across very long dis­tances. Power trans­mis­sion is a land-cen­tric ac­tiv­ity and se­cur­ing right-of-way across can prove ar­du­ous at times. It is in this con­text that high­volt­age trans­mis­sion would def­i­nitely play an im­por­tant role. To­day In­dia’s power trans­mis­sion in­fra­struc­ture is of 765kV level as against 400kV a few years ago. Ef­forts are on to in­tro­duce 800kV HVDC and even 1,200kV UHVAC trans­mis­sion in­fra­struc­ture. In con­junc­tion, tech­nol­ogy like VSC and FACTS are also be­ing de­ployed to re­duce the right of way re­quire­ments. It is en­cour­ag­ing to note that govern­ment is also in­creas­ing the com­pen­sa­tion to landown­ers for faster ac­qui­si­tion of land. All th­ese mea­sures, in com­bi­na­tion, are ex­pected to re­sult in max­i­mum power trans­fer ca­pac­ity with min­i­mum ge­o­graph­i­cal foot­print.

Power trans­mis­sion, in the com­ing years, will not be lim­ited to trans­fer­ring power from Point A to Point B. With open ac­cess, the flow of elec­tric­ity from source to desti­na­tion has be­come rather un­pre­dictable. In the com­ing years, it will be dif­fi­cult for a power pro­ducer to pre­dict who the buy­ers of elec­tric­ity would be. It was tra­di­tional for a power pro­ducer to have a fixed

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