Come September, India’s power sector will witness a new era in the transmission segment when state-run Power Grid Corp will launch a 1,200-Kv ultra-high voltage (UHV) test station along with experimental lines in Bina, Madhya Pradesh.
The investment for the project is estimated at Rs 800 crore. The company is also setting up a 1,200-Kv transmission line for commercial purpose, which will be constructed between Wardha and Aurangabad in Maharashtra.
Till now, the power is transmitted on 765Kv /800Kv lines. The existing 400Kv line can transfer about 600 Mw power, 800Kv line can do between 1,200 Mw and 2,400 Mw and 1,200-Kv transfer 6,000-8,000 Mw, according to experts from the Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers Association (IEEMA), which is associated with the project.
With the government’s plan of adding over 100,000 Mw capacity in the coming 12th Plan coupled with the challenges put up by environment hurdles, right of way and transmission losses, there is a need to develop a more sound transmission system.
About 35 manufacturers, including BHEL, Areva, Siemens and Sterlite have joined hands with PowerGrid to establish the 1,200kV test station. The test line in Bina is being constructed with two 1200kV test bays in which the leading manufacturers are providing main equipment such as transformers, surge arresters, circuit breakers, transformers among others. These test bays and test lines shall be used for various field trials initially.
“This will usher a new phase in the transmission sector as with a limited right of way (RoW), bulk power will be evacuated from the point of generation to the load centre. The transmission capacity, thus, will be fulfilled with one such line only catering to the capacity of several generators,” PowerGrid Chairman and Managing Director S K Chaturvedi told Business Standard.
According to IEEMA, the first 1,200kV system field was tested and commissioned in the former Soviet Union in 1985 after 12 years of research, which was discontinued after the disintegration of the Union. Then, Japan started developing a 1,000kV UHV system in 1978 and tests are still on. China started developmental work on a 1,100 kV UHV system in 2005 and a pilot project is presently under testing.
IEEMA’s Senior Director Operations Anil Nagrani said, “This will be an experimental line. There are many advantages of setting up a 1,200 Kv line. With unavailability of RoW, space crunch and various environmental issues, the existing power network can be upgraded to 1,200 Kv lines within the same space or little higher space.”