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Central Transmission Utility(CTU): Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID)

Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID, the ‘Central Transmission Utility (CTU)’ of the country and a ‘Navratna’ Company operating under Ministry of Power, is engaged in power transmission business with the responsibility for planning, implementation, operation and maintenance of Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS). POWERGRID is a listed Company, with 57.90% holding of Government of India and balance by Institutional Investors & public.

POWERGRID, as on July 31, 2017, owns & operates around 1,41,920 ckm of Extra High Voltage (EHV) transmission lines spread over the length and breadth of the country and 224 EHV AC & HVDC Sub-stations with transformation capacity of more than 2,95,673 MVA. Its vast transmission network wheels more than 45% of the power in the country. The availability of this huge transmission network is consistently maintained over 99% through deployment of state-of-the-art operation & maintenance techniques at par with global standards.

High Capacity Power Transmission Corridors (HCPTCs) have been implemented to meet bulk power evacuation requirement of various Independent Power Producers (IPPs) mainly coming up in resource rich and coastal areas such as Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Implementation of these corridors has been taken up in a phased manner matching with generation projects.

The total inter-regional transmission capacity (220kV and above) of country has been enhanced from 27,150 MW to 75,050 MW from XIth to XIIth plan. This endeavour of POWERGRID under the guidance of Ministry of Power has enabled in moderation of the prices of electricity in Northern Region and ensured reliable supply of electricity.

The Company has an excellent credit rating with financial institutions, thereby, is placed in a comfortable position in terms of resource mobilization. POWERGRID is also playing a major role in facilitating grid interconnection of renewable generation across the country through implementation of portion of ISTS part of Green Energy Corridors.

Conserving Right-of-Way (RoW), minimizing impact on natural resources, coordinated development of cost effective transmission corridor, flexibility in upgradation of transfer capacity of lines matching with power transfer requirement are major areas of concern in development of transmission network in the country. In this direction, the Company has been working on higher transmission voltages of ±800 kV HVDC & 1200 kV UHVAC. 1500 MW (Pole-I) of HVDC terminals at both ends of about 1350 km long ±800 kV, 6000 MW HVDC Bi-pole line connecting Champa in Chhattisgarh to Kurukshetra in Haryana has been commissioned recently. Similarly, power flow through 1200 kV National Test Station (NTS) has commenced at Bina, Madhya Pradesh.

To shore up its revenue and create value for its stakeholders, POWERGRID diversified into telecom business, leveraging its country wide transmission infrastructure. Company is providing back-bone connectivity to all metros, major cities & towns including remote areas of J&K and North-Eastern States etc. Total network coverage is more than 39,662 kms and numbers of Points of Presence (PoPs) locations are more than 662. Having Intra city network in 105 cities across India, the Telecom Backbone Availability for the year 2015-16 was about 99.5%.

POWERGRID has successfully completed the prestigious NKN (National Knowledge Network) project devised by Govt. of India, which connects all knowledge centres across the Country such as Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institute of Sciences (IISCs) etc., on a high speed connectivity Company has signed an agreement with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to improve the telecommunication connectivity with the North-Eastern States including Sikkim. It envisages the provisioning of bandwidth on optical fibre media laid over existing high tension electric transmission network. After completion of the proposed connectivity, the reliability of the telecom services improves substantially in North-Eastern region including Sikkim.

As a part of Government of India plan to connect 250,000 Gram Panchayats (GP) in the Country, POWERGRID one of the implementing agencies for BharatNet project and has been entrusted with the task of development and maintenance of the National Optical Fibre Network in states, namely Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha.

Further, POWERGRID is playing a significant role in carrying forward the distribution reforms through undertaking Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) and Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) works on behalf of the Govt. of India in the country.

Power distribution and losses in India

In India, average T & D (Transmission & Distribution) losses, have been officially indicated as 23 percent of the electricity generated. However, as per sample studies carried out by independent agencies including TERI, these losses have been estimated to be as high as 50 percent in some states. In a recent study carried out by SBI Capital Markets for DVB, the T&D losses have been estimated as 58%.

This is contrary to claims by DVB that their transmission and distribution losses are between 40 and 50 percent. With the setting up of State Regulatory Commissions in the country, accurate estimation of T&D Losses has gained importance as the level of losses directly affects the sales and power purchase requirements and hence has a bearing on the determination of electricity tariff of a utility by the commission.

Components of T&D losses Components of T&D losses Energy losses occur in the process of supplying electricity to consumers due to technical and commercial losses. The technical losses are due to energy dissipated in the conductors and equipment used for transmission, transformation, sub- transmission and distribution of power. These technical losses are inherent in a system and can be reduced to an optimum level. The losses can be further sub grouped depending upon the stage of power transformation & transmission system as Transmission Losses (400kV/220kV/132kV/66kV), as Sub transmission losses (33kV /11kV) and Distribution losses (11kV/0.4kv).

The commercial losses are caused by pilferage, defective meters, and errors in meter reading and in estimating unmetered supply of energy.

Power Distribution Sector

Distribution is the most important link in the entire power sector value chain.  As the only interface between utilities and consumers, it is the cash register for the entire sector. Under the Indian Constitution, power is a Concurrent subject and the responsibility for distribution and supply of power to rural and urban consumers rests with the states.

The Government of India provides assistance to states through various Central Sector / centrally sponsored schemes for improving the distribution sector.

Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) has its objectives of scheme as:

  1. Strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution networks in the urban areas.
  2. Metering of distribution transformers / feeders / consumers in the urban area.
  3. IT enablement of distribution sector and strengthening of distribution network.

The component of IT enablement of distribution sector and strengthening of distribution network approved in June, 2013 in the form of RAPDRP for 12th and 13th Plans got subsumed in this scheme and approved scheme outlay of Rs 44,011 crore including a budgetary support of Rs 22,727 crore carried over to the new scheme of IPDS.

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