Source: Financial Express, 07 March 2023
The power ministry on Tuesday said that the government has accepted a report of a task force or expert panel, which paves the way for modern and smart electricity transmission system in India.
The country will soon have a modern and smart power transmission system with features such as real-time monitoring and automated operation of grid, better situational assessment, capability to have increased share of renewable capacity in the power-mix, enhanced utilisation of transmission capacity, greater resilience against cyber attacks as well as natural disasters, centralised and data-driven decision-making, reduction in forced outages through self-correcting systems etc., a power ministry statement said.
These and other recommendations are part of a report of a task force set up by the power ministry in September 2021 under the chairmanship of POWERGRID chairman and managing director to suggest ways for modernisation of transmission sector and making it smart and future-ready, it stated. The other members of the task force included representatives from state transmission utilities, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), central transmission utilities, MeiTY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology), IIT Kanpur, NSGPMU and EPTA.
The report of the committee was accepted by the government after deliberations with Union power minister R K Singh last week, it stated. During the meeting, the minister emphasised that a modern transmission grid is vital to achieve the government’s vision to provide 24×7 reliable and affordable power to the people and also meet sustainability goals.
Singh said that a fully automated, digitally controlled, fast responsive grid which is resilient to cyber attacks and natural disasters is the need of the hour. The minister said that such a system should ensure isolation of specific areas in case of any contingency, so as to protect the grid and prevent larger outages.
Appreciating the efforts of the task force, Singh directed the CEA to formulate necessary standards and regulations for adoption of identified technological solutions and set benchmark performance levels so as to build a robust and modern transmission network in the country. The task force in its report has recommended a bouquet of technological and digital solutions, which can be adopted to make the state transmission grids future-ready.
These recommendations have been clubbed under categories of modernisation of existing transmission system; use of advanced technology in construction and supervision, operations and management; smart and future-ready transmission system; and up-skilling of workforce.
The task force has recommended centralised remote monitoring, operation of substations including SCADA, flexible AC transmission devices (FACTs), Dynamic Line Loading system (DLL), Wide Area Measurement System (WAMS) using PMUs and data analytics, Hybrid AC/HVDC system, predictive maintenance technique using AI/ML algorithms, HTLS conductors, process bus based protection automation and control GIS/Hybrid substation, cyber security, energy storage system, and drones & robots in construction/inspection of transmission assets.
The use of robots is expected to not only minimise human intervention and life risks/hazards but also save time while ensuring accuracy during construction and maintenance. The task force also recommended benchmarks for transmission network availability and voltage control based on the performance of global transmission utilities. While the short-term to medium-term recommendations will be implemented over 1-3 years, the long-term interventions are proposed to be implemented over a period of 3-5 years, it stated.