CEA published the Draft National Electricity Plan (Volume-II: Transmission) on 24th January 2024 and invited public comments by 26th March 2024. The draft plan ‘covers the review of development of transmission system during the period 2017-22, detailed planning for the period 2022-27, and perspective plan for the period 2027-32. Further, an ‘estimated expenditure of Rupees 4,75,804 crore would be required for implementation of additional transmission system in the country (transmission lines, sub-stations, reactive compensation etc.) during the period 2022-27’. Based on the studies, about 1,23,577 ckm of transmission lines and 7,10,940 MVA of transformation capacity (at 220 kV and above voltage levels) need to be added during the period 2022-27 with substantial growth to be in inter-regional power transmission capacity to facilitate smooth flow of power from surplus to deficit regions and for optimum utilization of the country’s generation resources. The aggregate inter-regional transmission capacity by the end of 2021-22 was 1,12,250 MW and projected to be 1,43,850 MW by 2026-27.  
Some of our suggestions on this draft include,

  1. Need for publishing draft and final Transmission plan well before the start period of the plan period.
  2. Need for more load-generation balance scenarios considering the seasonal variation of demand, high demand/low demand months, impact of Energy Storage, Time of Day tariffs, Green hydrogen and EV charging as well.
  3. Critically reviewing impact of ISTS RE waiver and minimum connectivity threshold (50 MW) on ISTS Transmission addition or planning.
  4. Pilots for new technologies.
  5. Need for Increased Data Reporting on topics such as a. Interim/progress/status report of achievement; b. Progress on project wise basis; c. Assessment of impact of Power factor /Grid Reliability improvement devices on grid operation and management etc.