BREAKING NEWS

RE Developers are Worried of Transmission Woes

RE Developers are Worried of Transmission Woes

Interview

CEO- SOLUTIONS BUSINESS

( STERLITE POWER )

MANISH AGARWAL

1. What are the different offerings of Sterlite Power Ltd.? What are the core areas of operations Sterlite Power is focusing on?

Through our Global Infrastructure Business, we bid, design, construct, own and operate power transmission assets across multiple geographies. Our focus is to develop projects ahead of schedule. Our Solutions business helps power Utilities to strengthen their power delivery networks with bespoke solutions. As a Master System Integrator our goal is to deliver multifold increase in throughput, upgrades to existing infrastructure, uprate of Overhead Conductors, OPGW based communication system & reliable EHV underground network, in shortest possible time. Our Convergence Business operates at the confluence of the power and telecom sectors. We leverage our transmission infrastructure via a series of industry first solutions to roll out reliable communication networks for Internet Service Providers and Telecommunications companies, thereby advancing the Digital India mission.

2. How you are going to exhibit in Elecrama 2020? What are the expectations of Sterlite from this electricity expo?

I’d like to start by congratulating the organisers for conceiving and executing a global event of such size and scale. There is also significant participation from regulators and policy makers. The ideas that emerge from the discussions, dialogue and deliberations are very crucial for the sector. Our hope is that they are taken forward and adopted. Elecrama is a prestigious event to be associated with and we look forward to our participation. We have been participating for many years. Consistent with our theme ‘Reimagining Energy Future’ we plan to showcase our global technology partnerships and will be launching a few capabilities and new products that have been developed in-house. Our showcase will also consist of global technology systems Integration solutions, power systems simulation capabilities, alternative construction techniques and next gen products and technologies.

3. What are the difficulties in Transmission & Distribution (T&D) sector of the country?

India is running largest RE Expansion Programme in the world. What it means is that huge generation capacities added in fraction of a time than evacuation system can be built. Planners should be mindful of  110/1100 days paradigm,i.e., it takes 110 days to commission a solar farm, while transmission system may take up to 1100 days to build. Hence, transmission system should be planned ahead of generation.

The other issue is  that urbanisation and development are leading to exponential power demand, the likes of which the existing ageing transmission infrastructure is unable to meet. This leads to transmission congestion problems for power utilities. Setting up new infrastructure comes with coinciding challenges of time, space and capital. We help Utilities resolve these challenges through uprating/upgrading existing transmission infrastructure to address these critical issues.

These are the existing challenges. In terms of upcoming challenges, I believe keeping the transmission grid up and running in the face of drastic climate change will be a significant challenge. Creating a cyber resilient infrastructure is going to be another formidable challenge.

4. Can you tell us the defining steps taken by Sterlite in order to provide best solutions for the industry? 

It all starts with investing in people and tools for capability building.As a master systems integrator to power utilities, we have nurtured solution architects. We have also invested in power systems simulation capabilities-competence and software. Our emphasis is also on cultivating and nurturing specialised talent, drone pilots and ariel technologists also form part of our workforce.

On the products side, we have dedicated new product development (NPD) teams, the latest software etc. Our testing labs are NABL approved. We have also invested in creating an overarching circle of experts to guide us on a host of issues, including technology, research and development and policy.

5. What are the new innovations impacting in power and transmission infrastructure?

Innovation is one of our core values and it is firmly imprinted in our organisation’s DNA. Technology is the catalyst that drives our innovative solutions to address and resolve transmission congestion challenges for our customers. Let me cite a few examples. Our uprate/upgrade projects in Kerala are helping the state govt to transform traditional energy delivery networks with the use of cutting edge technologies like MCMV towers, alternate construction methods-Micropiles, aerial technologies for stringing etc. We are enhancing the transmission capacity in these corridors in many cases by 14X times, in compressed timelines, without taking up any additional space or new infrastructure. We were the first company in India to herald in ‘Live Line’ reconductoring in Bangalore – we doubled the transmission capacity on a 66 KV transmission line connecting to electronic city, by replacing existing conductor with HPC – without taking a power shutdown, as is usually required. We worked on energised lines with ‘specialised techniques’, to deliver this project by avoiding any disruption to power supply to nearby areas. Recently, we installed the longest span with an HPC across a river crossing – for the Purnia-Bihar Shariff 400kV double circuit Transmission line. A specialised ultra-low sag composite core conductor was developed for this project. This will revolutionise the way river crossings are done in transmission projects across the country. We proudly pick up the toughest and most complex challenges to resolve in the transmission industry. We are inspired by our core purpose, which is at the heart of our company’s strategy that is ‘Empowering humanity by addressing the toughest challenges of energy delivery’.

6. What is Sterlite’s long term vision and mission for Indian market?  What will be the outlook of transmission sector of India?

We are committed to the vision of 24/7 reliable and quality power for all and to that end, India will remain our prime focus. We feel extremely privileged to be part of a sector which is actively contributing to nation building with the work that we undertake and deliver. Going forward the evolution of mega trends will keep the market exciting. These include, unplanned urban growth, the changing energy mix (with huge RE additions), electricity market disrupting load flows, changing demand patterns, penetration of EV, engaged customer on the grid side and more and more electrification of energy. Various consumption side factors will also contribute to future disruption. So overall, we are bullish on the future for the transmission sector.