S.B. Chandrashekharaiah has been working with Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) since 1992. He has spent most of his time at KPTCL working on automation, SCADA systems and power sector communications.
There are several challenges in working with SCADA systems, he notes, a key one being establishing proper communications since substations are typically remotely located. “The first SCADA system was installed at KPTCL in 1991 but because of frequency conditions, KPTCL thought of incorporating satellite communications in 1999. We started with 44 substations and now have over 1,400 substations connected, all of which are using data coming from various power projects,” says Chandrashekharaiah.
In Karnataka, all renewable energy projects are covered under the SCADA system, he says. The state has over 6,000 MW of solar capacity and 4,700 MW of wind capacity and all of this is integrated with the grid and is visible online on the SCADA system. This is a unique strength of the state’s grid.
Commenting on the forecasting of renewable energy, Chandrashekharaiah says that while the state regulatory commission has introduced deviation settlement mechanism regulations, these do not always work well for wind projects. “Forecasting wind energy is a challenge as it does not follow a standard pattern and is very sensitive to weather conditions. Therefore, the forecasting done for wind projects should improve,” he says.
To facilitate the integration of renewable energy, green energy corridors are being set up in the state. Phase I of this is almost commissioned and Phase II is under progress.
In his professional life, Chandrashekharaiah is content that KPTCL has given him a lot of opportunities to grow. As an engineer, his goal is to come up with solutions for the optimal generation of renewable energy.
Chandrashekharaiah studied electrical and electronics engineering at Mysore University and later taught at the Siddaganga Institute of Technology in Tumakuru district of Karnataka.
In his spare time, Chandrashekharaiah enjoys working on his farm, located in Hassan district. He mostly grows coconut trees, which, he shares, are harvested every three months and are available throughout the year. On June 15, when the entire nation was hooked to the India-Pakistan World Cup match, he was busy working on his farm, for over 15 hours, planting teak trees. Chandrashekharaiah enjoys reading and follows the work of M. Visvesvaraya and Mahatma Gandhi.