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 utilization of transmission capacity, greater resilience against cyber-attacks as well as natural disasters, centralized and data driven decision-making, reduction in forced outages through self-correcting systems etc. These and other recommendations are part of a report of a task force set up by the Power Ministry in Sep, 2021 under the chairmanship of CMD, POWERGRID to suggest ways for modernization of Transmission Sector and making it smart & future ready. The other members of the Task Force included representatives from State Transmission Utilities, Central Electricity Authority, Central Transmission Utilities, MeiTY, IIT Kanpur, NSGPMU and EPTA
The report of the committee was accepted by the government after deliberations chaired by Union Power & NRE Minister Shri R. K. Singh last week. During the meeting, the Minister emphasized 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 the sustainability goals. Shri 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, Shri 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 modernization of existing transmission system; use of advanced technology in construction & supervision, operations & management; smart & future-ready transmission system; and up-skilling of workforce. The Task Force has recommended Centralized 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 minimize human intervention and minimize life risks/hazards but also save time with while ensuring accuracy during construction and maintenance. The Task force also recommended benchmarks for transmission network availability and voltage control based on 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.