Trial linking of national and southern power grids from today

The Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) will start synchronising the national power grid with the southern power grid on a trial basis on Tuesday. The much-awaited synchronisation is expected to ease electricity shortage in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

The synchronisation was to begin in the first week of January 2014. But the PGCIL decided to begin testing the synchronisation on Tuesday itself as work on the 800 kV line between Raichur in Karnataka and Solapur in Maharashtra had accelerated, officials explained.

Nevertheless, this synchronisation of the two grids would only be a testing phase and continue for sometime, officials with the Southern Regional Load Dispatch Centre told Deccan Herald.

It is said that this synchronisation testing will continue for the next four to six months until the possibility of sustained power reaching the southern states from the north of the country is ascertained. For Karnataka, the synchronisation of the two grids may bring good news. Once the two grids are linked, the State may get close to 1,000 MW of additional power, according to officials. The State has a medium-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with three to four states in the western and northern parts of the country, including Maharashtra and Gujarat.

The KPTCL has, however, estimated that 1,000 MW of power will be received only after the ‘hierarchy of power supply’ is committed. The hierarchy means upper states will have the first right in the supply of power.  At present, the KPTCL estimates that it receives only 500 MW of the 1,500 MW under the PPA which it has signed with the western and northern states. The PPA continues till April-May 2015.

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