Its been a year since the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) announced a Rs 70-crore gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) substation in the city. Now,overcoming bureaucratic hurdles,a joint survey by the irrigation department and the Pune Municipal Corporation has been completed clearing the way for a new route for laying underground cables. The project is expected to commence in a week and likely to be completed by April.
The 132-KV GIS substation,the first such initiative in the state,will cost Rs 70 crore as against Rs 20 crore for a conventional 132-KV substation. The project aims at doing away with the erratic power supply in the citys crowded areas on account of space crunch to put up enough substations. A GIS substation requires relatively less space and the underground cables will also overcome the headache of putting up overhead transmission lines in crowded areas. Besides,the insulation is stronger in GIS technology,thus ensuring interruption-free power.
The installation of the GIS substation has not been without hurdles. Road repairs initiated by the PMC and the delay by the irrigation department in agreeing to lay the underground cables through their land led to stalling of the project for nearly a year. Till date,only 850 metre of cables have been laid.
We plan to lay cables for the entire 7.5-km from Parvati to Rasta Peth, says B M Kamble,Chief Engineer of the Maharashstra State Electricity Transmission Company Limited (MSETCL). It had also to be ensured that the main canal of the Khadakwasla dam is not damaged while laying cables,which caused another delay.
The contract for installing the GIS substation was given to Areva T& D,the Indian subsidiary of Areva France.
The GIS substation will come up on a limited space at Rasta Peth itself and ease problems related to power supply,Kamble said. Power from the Parvati substation will be fed to the Rasta Peth substation through the underground cable. The GIS substation is compact and occupies less space as compared to the air-insulated switchgear substations.
The entire switchgear in the GIS system will be enclosed in a container filled with sulfur hexafluorid. This technology increases insulation and does not require maintenance. According to the engineers,it ensures interruption-free power supply.