The Advisory Group of the power ministry has rebuffed the subgroup’s recommendations for development of National Power Beltway. The sub group, constituted by the power ministry to make recommendations on ‘inadequacies of transmission line: the way forward’. The sub-group had suggested development of National Power Beltway with a vision to develop a network consisting of large number of high capacity national, regional and state transmission corridors connecting load centres and generating stations to create a transmission system in anticipation of the load so that transmission drives the market.
The Advisory Committee stated that concept of National Power Beltway is the same as the concept of National Power Grid and is being implemented at present with high power transmission corridors and it was suggested that the nomenclature of National Grid should continue.
The other recommendations, made by the Sub-group, will be considered by the Advisory Group in its next meeting. These recommendations include a general network access. Under this, anybody would be able to get access to the national grid by paying the general network access charges without any PPA. In this framework, generators would need to specify the maximum capacity they want to inject into the grid and States need to specify their requirement for maximum power drawl.
Further, the sub-group has stated that all transmission projects should be given the status of Central Sector Project. It has also suggested the government to make efforts to ensure bank ability of the project by providing support in mitigating the challenges, including the payment security on behalf of the States, in view of the poor financial health of the state power utilities.
In addition, the Sub-group has also mentioned that there is a need for fine tuning the transmission policy for hydroelectric projects. It stated that issues like high transmission charges, associated with North Eastern Region hydro projects due to long distance, high capacity, hilly terrain, low utilization in initial period, and low PLF needs to be addressed.