A forced outage at the crucial Champa-Kurukshetra HVDC transmission system has led to a sharp drop of about 1,500 MW in the power wheeling capacity between the western region and the northern region. The affected link is the first phase of the key transmission system (Pole-I of the
800kV High Voltage Direct Current system), which was commissioned in March this year and was instrumental in augmenting the inter-regional capacity of Northern Region with Western Region. The link is crucial in enabling transfer of power from private generation projects in the Raigarh, Champa, and Raipur regions of Chhattisgarh to demand centres of Northern region — Haryana, Punjab, UP, Rajasthan and adjoining areas. Uttar Pradesh is among the states worst affected by the outage, with the state facing a cut in load of around 2,000 MW (about 14 per cent of its peak load of 14,454 MW). When contacted, a senior Uttar Pradesh energy department official said: “Power Grid (central transmission utility Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd) has informed me that it will take about two days for it to come back on. They are meanwhile trying to bring into service another Pole that is under construction.”
He said that the state had requested the grid operator (POSOCO) to offer the state some relief by sending more power through other transmission lines. “We have purchased the power but cannot import it now,” he told The Indian Express.
Following the outage, the available transfer capability (ATC) dropped from 8,550 MW to 7,050MW, official sources
Officials involved in the exercise, while admitting to the outage, said that the situation can be managed due to the comfortable power situation prevailing in most of the country. The transmission system is tentatively set to be up and running by July 22. Power experts indicated that the back-up plan to bringing into service a system that is still under commissioning might have technical limitations, especially in terms of it being suddenly loaded.
The Champa-Kurukshetra system is part of Western Region-Northern Region HVDC Interconnector Transmission System for independent power projects in Chhattisgarh.
Commercial operation of the first phase (Pole-I) of the project commenced in March and involved the setting up of an HVDC Terminal at Champa in the Western Region and Kurukshetra in the Northern Region, along with 2,576 Ckm Champa-Kurukshetra HVDC Transmission line. It was built at a total cost of about Rs 6,300 crore.
The transmission system is further being upgraded to 6,000 MW capacity with addition of a second HVDC bipole at an additional cost of about Rs 5,200 crore and is expected to be completed by December 2018.