Government Accepts Task Force Report on Smart Power Transmission System

The system will accommodate a higher proportion of renewables in the power mix


The government has accepted the recommendations of a task force on modernizing India’s power transmission system, paving the way for real-time monitoring, automated grid operation, and increased renewables integration into the power mix.

Other recommendations by the task force relate to equipping the transmission system for better situational assessment, enhanced transmission capacity utilization, centralized and data-driven decision-making, reduced forced outages through self-correcting systems, and greater resilience against cyber-attacks and natural disasters.

The task force was set up by the Ministry of Power in September 2021. It was chaired by the POWERGRID Chairman and included representatives from state and central transmission utilities, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. Union Power Minister R.K.Singh presided over the deliberations over the task force report.

The system will be able to accommodate a higher proportion of renewable capacity in the power mix, facilitating India’s progress toward meeting its renewable energy goals.

The recommendations have been divided into the following categories:

  • Modernization of the existing transmission system
  • Use of advanced technology in construction, supervision, operations, and management
  • Intelligent and future-ready transmission system
  • Up-skilling of the workforce

The recommendations have been further classified into short-term to medium-term interventions, which will be implemented over 1-3 years, and long-term interventions, which are proposed to be implemented over 3-5 years.

Singh emphasized the importance of a fully automated, digitally controlled, and smart transmission grid in achieving the government’s vision of providing reliable and affordable 24×7 power to the people and meeting sustainability goals.

He also directed CEA to develop standards and regulations for the adoption of technological solutions and to set benchmark performance levels to build a robust and modern transmission network.

Advanced technologies

The task force has proposed a range of advanced technologies to modernize India’s power transmission sector. These include centralized remote monitoring, SCADA-operated substations, flexible alternating current transmission systems, process bus-based protection automation, and hybrid substations that combine gas and air-insulated switchgear technologies.

The use of cybersecurity, energy storage system, drones, and robots for constructing and inspecting transmission assets is also among the suggestions. Robots are expected to minimize human intervention, reduce risks, and save time while ensuring accuracy during construction and maintenance.

The task force also recommended benchmarks for transmission network availability and voltage control based on the performance of global transmission utilities.

Last December, R.K. Singh unveiled a comprehensive plan to evacuate the planned renewable power capacity of 500 GW by 2030 at an estimated cost of ₹2.44 trillion (~$29.64 billion).

In October last year, Singh stated that the government was planning to set up thirteen renewable energy management centers to address generation variability, uncertainty, and transmission systems for integrating an additional 52 GW of potential renewable energy zones by 2026-27.