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SEP 21 2015

PowerGrid to set up lines to link solar parks with Inter-State Transmission System

  • Economic Times, ET Bureau / Hyderabad
  • Created: Mon 21st SEP 2015

Government has nominated state-run Power Grid Corp for developing power transmission lines connecting solar parks and Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS), which has led to some private companies crying foul that competitive bidding route should have been followed.

The power transmission lines for connecting solar parks and ISTS in the country will be set up by the Power Grid Corporation, a source said.

Government has decided to include all transmission lines connecting solar parks to ISTS as part of the green corridor which will be set up by Power Grid, said the source.

Earlier, the government had nominated the Power Grid to set up the green corridor or ISTS for evacuating power from solar parks worth over Rs 15,000 crore.

The source said that Power Grid will set these lines including pooling stations within tight schedules because solar plants are set up in around two years time.

"The government should have gone through competitive bidding route for the ISTS as well as for transmission line linking the green corridor with solar parks," said an executive of a private power company.

He said the government has missed one more chance to attract private investors and improving cost competitiveness through tariff based bidding.
Earlier this year, Power Grid board had approved an investment of over Rs 3,705.61 crore for implementing green corridor or ISTS Scheme-B.

"The PSU (PowerGrid) already has more than Rs 40,000 crore of capital works in progress, which need to be implemented. Perhaps the future projects should be spread across a few parties rather than single party, that too with strict timelines and penalties for delay," said another executive of a private company.

Globally. transmission evacuation for renewable energy is done by auction method, similar to TBCB (tariff based competitive bidding) method.

On of the executives said, "The auction of transmission projects will not only lead to reduced tariffs, but it will help diversify the pool of transmission developers in the country, and bring in world class technology for faster delivery of lines."

In May, Power Minister Piyush Goyal had said that "transmission projects of Rs 1 lakh crore are to be bid out in 6 months".

The executive said: "This announcement has led to a lot of excitement amongst global transmission players, and they are now eager to participate. This opportunity must not be lost."

According to the Power Ministry, a total of 22,100 circuit kilometres (CKM) of transmission lines and 65,554 megavolt ampere (MVA) transformation capacity have been achieved in 2014-15 as against the target of 20,882 CKM and 47,871 MVA, the highest ever in a year.


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