More power to southern states likely next month

Dec 15 2013, 00:28 IST
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SummaryWith joining of the southern grid to rest of country, region can get cheaper & extra electricity

On January 14, a single national power grid would allow seamless pan-India flow of electricity in uniform frequency.

State-owned transmission utility Power Grid Corporation is set to charge its high-voltage (765 KV) transmission line between Solapur in Maharashtra and Raichur in Karnataka by the second week of January, ending isolation of the southern grid, which has remained technically cut-off from the north, east and western grids. The integration of the grids would enable consumers in south Indian states to access electricity at competitive rates from generators in the north, who produce surplus power.

“The project to connect southern grid with high-voltage AC transmission line is in the final leg of execution. We should be handed over the line by contractors in the first week of January so that it could be made operational by January 14,” Power Grid CMD RN Nayak told FE.

He added that though the southern grid was even now connected with the rest of the country, it was through a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) line that does not allow synchronous flow of electricity in a uniform frequency, but merely acts as a tap for regulated supply of power. This prevented the southern grid to automatically access surplus power available on the grid at various points of time to meet its deficit.

Southern grid is one of the five regional grids in the country. While the other four — north, west, east and the northeast — are part of one national grid, the southern grid has remained isolated. While the lack of transmission link to the south has often resulted in higher prices of power in the region, this also came a blessing in disguise during the northern grid collapse on July 30-31 last year when the region remained unaffected while large parts of the country suffered blackouts.

The southern grid connectivity project involves putting in place two circuits of 2,100 MW each on 765 KV lines. While Power Grid Corporation will make the single circuit line of 2,100 MW operational in January 2014, the other line being constructed by Patel Engineering may be up and ready later in the year. Together with the existing HVDC line, this would enable the deficit-prone southern region to get access to about 6,000 MW of power, including 4,000 MW at uniform frequency.  

“Most of this power would be available at a much cheaper price than that from the exchanges,”

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