Kiran Gupta: Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Powerlinks Transmission Limited

Kiran Gupta, who has three decades of experience in the pow­er sector, is currently chief executive officer and executive director, Powerlinks Transmission Limited, a JV between Tata Po­w­er Com­pany Limited and Power Grid Corpo­ra­tion of India Limit­ed. Earlier, she worked with Tata Power-DDL, leading diverse ar­eas in­cluding engineering, contracts, operations and enforcement, policy ad­vo­cacy, and performance assurance.

According to Gupta, the power transmission system has gain­ed significance in line with the rising need to evacuate renewable power to load centres, as they need to be connected to the interstate transmission system (ISTS). The installed renewable capacity of 175 GW by 2022 comprises 66.5 GW of capacity to be connected to the ISTS grid. A part of this is already commissioned, with the balance being active projects.

Major challenges in the transmission sector include huge technical and commercial losses, capital investme­nt, land acquisition, RoW and environmental clearances. “To overcome su­ch challen­g­es, adopting higher voltage levels for the final system, using multi-circuit towers for stringing circuits in the future, or using new technology such as HVDC and GIS would be options for upgradation,” she notes.

Of the total 237 GW of renewable ca­pacity planned in India, 181 GW is identified for development by 2030 in various states, with Rajasthan contributing 75 GW. Additionally, transmission sc­he­mes have been planned considering en­ergy storage to meet rou­nd-the-clock po­wer needs. Around 51,000 ckt. km of additional tra­nsmission lines and 433,575 MVA substation capacity will be required for ISTS to integrate by 2030.

Gupta takes pride in her current role. “It has provided me ample opportunities to take the company to new heights, with the ad­option of digital and technological initiatives, ensuring 100 per cent safe operati­ons and enabling team learning,” adds Gu­pta.

Gupta’s management style involves working with the team to achieve the desired results. She strongly advocates the use of data analysis for decision-making, with an eye on the future ne­eds of the team and the company. She enjoys travelling, do­ing yoga, gardening, playing carrom and listening to music. Gupta has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering fr­om Delhi Coll­ege of Engineering, with a gold medal for outstanding perform­ance. She is also a director on the boards of various Tata Power Group companies.