Government officials said the integration of the southern grid is being targeted for the year 2014-15, in time for the commissioning of the 4,000 MW Krishnapatnam Ultra Mega Power Project in Andhra Pradesh. This is being done through three upcoming 765 kV AC (alternating current) links that would hook up the southern region to the rest of the country through the western grid.
While work on the Raichur-Sholapur 765kV circuit is now under implementation through private participation, another 765 kV line is being executed by Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) as part of the transmission scheme for the Krishnapatnam project.
A third link - the Narendra-Kolhapur 765kV double circuit line - is also being built by PGCIL.
The three links will ensure the southern region is fully integrated with the rest of the country, with an additional 6,400 MW inter-regional transmission capacity in the due course.
At present the north, west and eastern regions are integrally connected through AC transmission links and there is a free flow of power between these regions. The southern region is hooked up with the rest of the country through HVDC (high voltage direct current) transmission links which have constraints on wheeling capacity, thereby limiting the free flow of power from and to the southern region, a Central Electricity Authority official said.
Mr Jayant Deo, Managing Director and CEO of IEX, the country's largest power exchange, said transmission constraints have been a major limiting factor in short-term electricity flows from the NEW Grid to the southern region, despite price spikes in the south during the pre-summer months and a surplus in the north.
Currently, transmission links hook up the southern region to the western region through Bhadrawati (1,000 MW capacity) and to the eastern region at Gazuwaka (1,000 MW).
The total transfer capability for import of power by the southern region from the rest of India is pegged at 1,330 MW, while actual transfer capability is around 1,230 MW, according to data from the National Load Despatch Centre.
India's current installed capacity is 173 giga watts (I GW is equal to 1,000 MW). The total inter-regional transmission capacity as on February 2011 was 20,750 MW and inter-regional capacity of 10,900 MW is planned to be added during the balance period of the Eleventh Plan.
Source- Hindu Businessline