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National link to southern power grid on the cards

According to reports, the Centre has decided to connect the southern power grid with the national grid by setting up two major transmission lines by the end of 2014.

Work on two 765 kV transmission lines linking Sholapur and Kolhapur in Maharashtra to Raichur and Narendra, respectively, in Karnataka will be completed in two years. Once the project costing Rs 2,500 crore is completed, the southern grid will be linked to the rest of the grids, a senior official in the Ministry of Power told Deccan Herald.

India has northern, eastern, north-eastern, southern and western electricity grids. All of them, except the southern grid, are inter-connected synchronously. The southern grid is connected asynchronously with the rest of the national power grid. This has been done through high voltage direct current links and radially operated AC links. Now, the Centre wants to connect the southern grid with the national grid synchronously by constructing 765Kv lines between Maharashtra (western grid) and Karnataka (southern grid).

The connectivity between the southern and other grids in the country may help in easing the congestion of electricity transmission lines in the country. Besides, this will also help to address power shortage faced by southern states, said the official. If the southern states face electricity scarcity they can draw from the northern grid.

The augmentation of inter-regional capacity shall also facilitate the integration of a large renewable power generation in the southern region with the rest of the country, said the official.

Presently, the inter-regional transmission capacity between West and South is 1,500 MW. With the construction of new transmission lines between Maharashtra and Karnataka, the transmission capacity will be enhanced to 5,000 MW.

The official, allaying fears of grid collapse due to interconnection of the network, said sufficient care would be taken to prevent cascading, which happened recently in North India.

Recently, when the northern grid collapsed due to overdrawing of electricity by some states, it had led to tripping of other grids like the eastern grid and the north-eastern grid.

However, despite the northern grid connected to the western grid, there was no power cut in Maharashtra as proper safeguarding was put in place in the western grid. Similar steps will be taken for the southern grid.

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