December 8, 2022
  • December 8, 2022

Blackout highlights glaring flaws in Mumbai’s transmission network | Bombay News

By on February 27, 2022 0

After a major power outage in the country, an islanding system was introduced in 1981 to isolate the financial capital from power outages by cutting it off the grid to serve a limited area during any external grid disturbance. The islanding system has prevented 27 power outages in the city so far.

However, in October 2020, a power outage revealed the flaws in the system as Mumbai shut down for a few hours. A Central Electricity Authority (CEA) team investigating the outage pointed to the unsuitability of the transmission network in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) for the future and highlighted the need to increase embedded generation by compared to the import of electricity from the network.

Mumbai is served by three electricity distribution companies (discoms), namely Tata Power Company (TPC), Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited (AEML) and Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST). The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) covers areas like Mulund and Bhandup in the eastern suburbs. These companies have a production capacity of 1,877 MW, including 500 MW with AEML and TPC’s 1,377 MW for Mumbai.

Sunday’s power outage – the second in less than two years – has once again underscored the need to increase embedded generation in the city while increasing the capacity of transmission networks, which are clogging due to demand growing electricity.

Peak electricity demand reached 3,600 MW in the summers of 2019-2020 and is expected to reach 5,000 MW by 2024-25 and 6,000 MW by 2030.

Officials from the Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Limited (MSETCL) said Mumbai had a transmission capacity of 4,000 MW. However, Tata Power Company sources said the peak power that can be brought in using the power corridor was 2,286MW and added that the maximum peak demand Mumbai has seen so far was 4,000MW .

Officials and experts said transmission capacity varies with voltage levels, scheduled maintenance outages and linear projects like subway rail corridors and forced outages.

Power sector expert Ashok Pendse noted that TPC and Adani have dedicated and integrated generation capacity for Mumbai at Trombay and Dahanu. “Tata cannot increase production at its Trombay plant due to strict pollution control standards and local resistance. Additional power supply from outside Mumbai will be affected by bottlenecks in the transmission networks,” he explained. The cost of electricity from out of town could also be cheaper.

“Mumbai was self-sufficient when units from Tata and Adani could meet demand, but peak demand for Mumbai has increased and additional power has to be channeled using the transmission grid. So to ensure round the clock power supply in Mumbai, we need to upgrade this transmission network,” Pendse said.

“Due to work on linear projects like the metro, we have to close our systems in certain areas. This should be done at times of low demand such as winters. Such outages can occur during these times,” an official from MSETCL said, adding that they were working on increasing the infrastructure.

Adani Transmission Limited (ATL) is undertaking work on a transmission line and substation project from Kharghar to Vikhroli which will improve power supply by 1,000 MW and will be completed by the end of 2023. The other project , which will also add 1,000 MW of transmission capacity, is the Kudus-Aarey high voltage direct current (HVDC) corridor, which will be partly underground and will be completed in approximately three years. The MSETCL also doubles its transmission capacity to 8,000 MW by February-March 2023.

“We have initiated transmission capacity improvement projects and work is ongoing,” Energy Minister Nitin Raut said, adding that Sunday’s outage was not related to power bottlenecks. throttling.

“We want to increase the built-in power generation capacity in the MMR given the increase in demand due to the completion of the Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA), increased services on the line port and the construction of data centers. The city’s electricity demand is expected to peak at 6,000 MW by 2030,” Raut said.

He further said that there are plans to add 800MW capacity to the existing 672MW Uran Gas Turbine Power Plant of Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (MahaGenco) located close to the load centers. of the MMR.

Pendse pointed out that while rooftop solar power projects were touted as a likely solution, this was difficult to achieve in a city that had several old buildings and less open spaces. About 110 to 112 square feet are needed to create one kilowatt (KW) of rooftop solar power generation capacity.