MoP accepts Task Force report for modern and smart power transmission systems

The Ministry of Power (MoP) notified that India 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 utilisation of transmission capacity, greater resilience against cyber-attacks as well as natural disasters, centralised and data driven decision-making, reduction in forced outages through self-correcting systems amongst many others.

These and other recommendations are part of a report of a task force set up by the MoP in September 2021. The other members of the Task Force included representatives from state transmission utilities, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), central transmission utilities, MeiTY, IIT Kanpur, National Smart Grid Mission and EPTA .

The report of the committee was accepted by the government after deliberations chaired by union power and ministry of new and renewable energy Minister Mr R K Singh last week. During the meeting, Mr Singh emphasised 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.

Mr Singh announced 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 to protect the grid and prevent larger outages.

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 modernisation of existing transmission systems, use of advanced technology in construction and supervision, operations and management; smart and future-ready transmission system, and up-skilling of workforce.

The Task Force has recommended centralised remote monitoring, operation of substations including SCADA, flexible AC transmission devices, dynamic line loading system, wide area measurement system 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 minimise human intervention and minimise life risks/hazards but also save time 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.