The Power Ministry in India has established a task force to provide recommendations on the modernization of the transmission sector and make it smart and future-ready. The committee was chaired by the CMD of POWERGRID and included representatives from State Transmission Utilities, Central Electricity Authority, Central Transmission Utilities, MeiTY, IIT Kanpur, NSGPMU, and EPTA.
The committee’s report was accepted by the government after deliberations chaired by Union Power & MNRE Minister Shri R. K. Singh last week. The minister emphasized the importance of a modern transmission grid to provide 24×7 reliable and affordable power and meet sustainability goals. He noted the need for a fully automated, digitally controlled, fast responsive grid that is resilient to cyber attacks and natural disasters. The system should also ensure the isolation of specific areas in case of any contingency to protect the grid and prevent larger outages. The minister directed the CEA to formulate necessary standards and regulations for adoption of identified technological solutions and set benchmark performance levels to build a robust and modern transmission network in the country.
The task force recommended a range of technological and digital solutions under categories of modernization of existing transmission systems, use of advanced technology in construction & supervision, operations & management, smart & future-ready transmission systems, and up-skilling of the workforce. The recommendations included 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 task force also recommended benchmarks for transmission network availability and voltage control based on the performance of global transmission utilities.
The short to medium-term recommendations will be implemented over one to three years, while the long-term interventions are proposed to be implemented over three to five years. The recommendations aim to improve the transmission system’s real-time monitoring and automated operation, situational assessment, increased share of renewable capacity, enhanced utilization of transmission capacity, greater resilience against cyber attacks and natural disasters, centralized and data-driven decision-making, reduction in forced outages, and self-correcting systems. The use of robots is expected to minimize human intervention, reduce life risks/hazards, and save time while ensuring accuracy during construction and maintenance. The task force’s efforts are expected to build a robust and modern transmission network in India.