Power transmission: A towering problem

Between April and June this year, well over a dozen high-capacity power transmission towers of 765 kV and 400 kV capacity, the backbone of the Indian electricity network, collapsed in the face of pre-monsoon winds, highlighting the fragility of the country’s grid infrastructure. The 765 kV double-circuit transmission towers hook up power lines that typically carry electricity to the tune of 3,000-5,000 MW and the collapse of more than one tower could potentially trigger a cascading grid failure, unless Special Protection Schemes are in place or the transmission system is spruced up to handle such a huge loss of power. The official estimate of the time taken to bring these towers back into operation ranges between a few days to well over a month in some cases. In response to the inter-state transmission towers — most of which are set-up by state-owned transmission firm Power Grid Corporation (PGCIL) — toppling like ninepins, the country’s grid manager, POSOCO, has raised the red flag. POSOCO has underlined the fact that as compared with first quarter of last fiscal (April-June 2014), there is a marked increase in the 765 kV tower collapses and damage in the first quarter of this financial year (April-June 2015), forcing the grid manager to issue an alert that these failures be “investigated thoroughly” and remedial measures “undertaken immediately” across all utilities. “In the absence of this, the grid continues to remain vulnerable,” POSOCO has observed in an official note, where it underscores the point that it is “improbable that all the failures are due to reasons beyond control, considering the geographical spread of incidents.” –

See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/power-transmission-a-towering-problem/#sthash.hLisiFGs.dpuf

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