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When transmission utility KPTCL planned a modern multi-voltage transmission line in Yelahanka capable of bearing both 220 kv and 66 kv lines through multi-circuit towers, the project obviously meant 10 hours of power shutdown everyday to such premium consumers as Federal Mogul, AstraZeneca and Rail Wheel Factory for four months.
The alternative to shutdown was to go for 66 kv underground cables but that would be 10-12 times costlier than the overhead lines.
But the KPTCL neither shut supply nor went for underground cabling. Instead, it used a Swedish innovation that is perfect for a crowded city like Bengaluru. The technology called covered conductor helps in transport of large loads of power using a narrow corridor space.
The KPTCL has erected the first such line (66 kv) in Yelahanka alongside the modern 220 - 66 KV multi-circuit -multi-voltage line to bring power from Hoody to the 220kv station in Yelahanka to improve the quality of supply to the city's upmarket suburb, which is close to the international airport. The covered conductor line is a work in progress as it will happen further down along the main multi-circuit corridor.
Energy minister DK Shivakumar, who inspected the line on Saturday, told ET the government would use the Swedish technology wherever it has the right of way issues. "This is the first such initiative in India, and we adopted this innovative technology because it would minimise our land requirement for transmission lines as well as save on land purchase costs" he said.
The KPTCL plans to use covered conductors wherever it is facing land-related problems. Its engineers say they have trouble in finding land for erecting transmission lines because residential layouts have cropped up indiscriminately .
"Usually we need 18 metres of right of way to build a 66 kv line, but the covered conductor would make the project possible in a corridor of 7-9 metre width. In fact, in Yelahanka case, the Central Power Research Institute (CPRI) has said seven meters could be sufficient," said S Sumanth, KPTCL Director (Transmission), overseeing the project.
The utility has imported the covered conductor from Amokabel, Sweden, and the project is being handled by KEC International. According to Sumanth, the project has saved Rs 20 crore in potential losses which it would have suffered if it had gone for power shutdown from 8 am everyday .
"Once the multi-circuit, multi-voltage line is ready , the industrial, commercial, educational and residential suburbs around Yelahanka will not have any power supply disruptions," he said.
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