Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh and the Union Territory of Puducherry would now have better access to electricity supply as the region has been synchronized with the national transmission network of electricity (commonly known as the National Electricity Grid).The development took place on December 31, nearly five months ahead of schedule in May.
Evolution of Indian Grids
”Synchronous integration of the Southern grid with the rest of the national grid will not only augment the inter-regional power transfer capacity of the Southern region but also relieve the congestion being experienced in a few transmission corridors. This would be a boost for the further economic growth of the country. It is likely to take a few months before power flow over this line is stabilized,” the Ministry of Power said in a statement on Wednesday.
Power Scenario in Indian Grids
The entire country is divided into five regional electricity grids — Northern, Eastern, Western, North-Eastern and Southern. Till now, four grids (excepting Southern) were operating in a synchronous mode. This means, electricity across these regions flows seamlessly in line with the demand and supply matrix.Since the Southern grid was not connected, the States in the region faced problems in the import of electricity from the rest of the country. Neither could they supply power to States outside the grid when there was excess supply.
The national integration of grids has been achieved following the commissioning of the Raichur-Solapur 765 kV single circuit transmission line by the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL).This line of 208 circuit kilometres (ckm) and 765-400 kV substations at Raichur and Sholapur, has been commissioned five months ahead of its contractual schedule at a cost of approximately Rs 815 crore, the Ministry said.With this interconnection, the Indian power system has become one of the largest synchronous grids with about 232,000 MW of installed power generation capacity.
Overall, synchronization of the SR grid with the NEW grid is likely to alleviate some of the power deficit in SR. Additionally, power generators in WR are expected to utilize the transmission link which enabled this synchronization to enhance their plant load factor resulting in increased sales and to harness better margins resulting in improved profitability. Higher electricity sales will require additional coal demand which will primarily be met through coal imports while improved profitability will provide impetus to the “purchasing power” of power generators exporting electricity to the SR. With higher “purchasing power”, these power generators will try to continue importing coal even at higher coal prices.