The focus of various government programmes in the transmission and distribution segment has been on network strengthening and modernisation. Substations and switchgear play a vital role in providing reliable supply and, therefore, various schemes such as the Integrated Power the Development Scheme (IPDS) and Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) have laid considerable emphasis on the setting up of new substations and capacity augmentation of the existing ones across distribution utilities in the country. Under the DDUGJY, 2,684 new substations have been set up and capacity augmented at 4,329 substations as of March 2021. Meanwhile, under the IPDS, till November 2020, 927 new 33/11 kV power substations have been commissioned. Transmission utilities have also been focusing on the expansion of substation capacity in order to make the grid stronger with greater integration of green energy. During 2020-21, 57,575 MVA of substation capacity was added by transcos across the central, state and private sectors vis-à-vis 68,230 MVA in the previous year (at 220 kV and above).
Significant substation capacity addition has been undertaken by distribution utilities under the IPDS and DDUGJY. The IPDS was launched in November 2014, with the aim to increase the quality and reliability of power supply in urban areas. Broadly, the scheme, which has so far sanctioned projects worth Rs 313.14 billion, entails strengthening of subtransmission and distribution networks in urban areas; metering of feeders, distribution transformers and consumers; enterprise resource planning and IT enablement; provisioning of solar panels and underground cabling. Notably, 91 per cent (Rs 284.81 billion) of the total outlay is for system strengthening initiatives. The scheme includes setting up of 1,033 new substations and capacity augmentation of existing substations. Since the launch of the IPDS, till November 2020, 927 new 33/11 kV power substations have been commissioned. Further, there has been capacity augmentation of over 1,500 existing power substations. During January to November 2020, 79 new substations were commissioned, while capacity enhancement was carried out and additional transformers were put in place for 99 existing substations.
In view of the land availability constraints in urban areas, GIS substations have also been sanctioned under the IPDS. For this, the total approved project cost including project management agency cost is
Rs 9,039.8 million. The total grant approved by the central government is around Rs 5,990.7 million. As of December 2020, 98 GIS substations are under progress in various states. Meanwhile, the DDUGJY, launched in December 2014, has been focusing on strengthening subtransmission and distribution networks in rural areas. The key objectives of the scheme include network strengthening, metering, rural electrification, feeder segregation and decentralised distributed generation. As part of network strengthening, the scheme entails installing new substations and augmenting transformer capacity at the existing substations. The DDUGJY entails setting up of 2,816 new substations and capacity augmentation of 4,407 substations. During April to November 2020, 83 new substations were commissioned and 224 substations were augmented. As of March 2021, 2,684 new substations have been set up and capacity augmentation of 4,329 substations has been carried out.
In 2020-21, of the total substation capacity addition, the maximum capacity of 20,855 MVA was added by Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (Powergrid) as per the Central Electricity Authority. Other utilities with significant capacity addition during the year include Uttar Pradesh Power Transmission Corporation Limited (UPPTCL) (5,000 MVA), Madhya Pradesh Power Transmission Company Limited (3,920 MVA), Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (3,900 MVA), Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Limited (3,680 MVA) and Transmission Corporation of Andhra Pradesh Limited (APTRANSCO) (3,490 MVA).
At the interstate level, significant capacity addition is planned by Powergrid to evacuate power from renewable energy zones. It has transmission projects worth Rs 470 billion in the pipeline as of the third quarter of financial year 2021. At the intra-state level, most state transcos have not firmed up substation capacity addition plans till 2024-25. Among utilities for which substation capacity addition plans are available for the next three to four years, the maximum substation capacity is planned by Bihar State Power Transmission Company Limited, Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Limited, Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Limited, UPPTCL and APTRANSCO. Some of the recent developments include UPPTCL’s plan, announced in March 2021, to build six new substations in Greater Noida with capacities ranging from 132 kV to 220 kV and 400 kV by 2023. In addition, it is planning to upgrade an existing 220 kV substation to 400 kV. In the same month, Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited came out with its plan to build a 2×500 MVA, 400/220/33 kV substation, along with associated transmission lines, in the Paradeep port area of Odisha.
Overall, the implementation of various programmes has led to an improvement in the transmission and distribution segment through the expansion and augmentation of networks. This will go a long way in achieving the government’s objective of providing 24×7 power supply.