India to spend $39 B on transmission infrastructure upgrade

India: To meet the ever increasing amount of power generation and the demand for power in India, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has published, in its National Electricity Plan (NEP), a blueprint to develop the transmission systems in the country.

These transmission systems are to be implemented to evacuate power from generating stations. The plan also focuses on strengthening of the existing transmission network for meeting projected growth in load or demand and optimum utilization of distributed generation resources in different regions.

Based on the 19th Electrical Power survey by the CEA, the total installed power capacity by the end of 2021-22 is projected to be around 480.4 GW to meet the annual peak load demand of 225.7 GW which includes about 175 GW of renewable generation capacity (which includes about 60 GW of wind, 100 GW of Solar, 9 GW of Biomass and 6 GW of small hydro capacity).

Based on the analysis, about 110,000 ckm of transmission lines and about 383,000 MVA of transformation capacity in the substations at 220 kV and above voltage levels are required to be added.

The CEA estimates the expenditure of $39 B (₹2.69 trillion) would be required for the implementation of the transmission system which would include transmission lines, substations, and reactive compensation, during the plan period (2017-22).

“Lack of power evacuation and transmission infrastructure has been the most significant challenge in addressing India’s power shortage so far. However, based on the National Electricity Plan, $40 B in expected investments by 2022, also presents a huge opportunity. Renewables will benefit the most with the expansion and upgrade of transmission systems in the country,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

Source: Mercom India