Prime Minister, Narendra Modi inaugurated today POWERGRID’s 320 kV 2000 MW Pugalur (Tamil Nadu) – Thrissur (Kerala) HVDC project in presence of Governor of Kerala Arif Mohammad Khan; Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan; Minister of State (IC) (Power and New Renewable energy) & Minister of State (Skilled Development & Entrepreneurship); Union Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs(I/C), Civil Aviation(I/C) Hardeep Singh Puri; M.M Mani, Minister for Electricity, Govt. of Kerela; Rajmoha Unnithan, Member of Parliament Kasaragod and M.M Kamaruddin, MLA Manjeshwaram and senior officials of Ministry of Power, Govt. of India, State Govt. of Kerala, POWERGRID and THDCIL on 19 February, 2021. The event was held over video conference. Prime Minister also dedicated a 50 MW Kasaragod Solar Power Project to the nation.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said the development works starting today are spread across all parts of Kerala and cover a wide range of sectors. They will power and empower the beautiful state of Kerala, whose people are making rich contributions to India’s progress.
He said that the 2000 Megawatt state of the art Pugalur – Thrissur High Voltage Direct Current system inaugurated today is the first HVDC interconnection of Kerala with National Grid and will facilitate transfer of huge quantum of power to meet the growing power demands of the State. This is also the first time the VSC converter technology has been introduced in the Country for transmission. He added Kerala is largely dependent on import of power from the National Grid due to its seasonal nature of internal power generation and HVDC system helps to bridge the gap. He expressed happiness that the HVDC equipment used in this project has been made in India and gives strength to it’s AatmaNirbhar Bharat movement.
The Prime Minister said our gains in solar energy ensure a stronger fight against climate change, a boost to our entrepreneurs. He said farmers are also being connected with the solar sector to make our Annadatas as Urjadatas. Under PM-Kusum Yojana, over 20 lakh solar power pumps are being given to farmers. He added that in the last six years, India’s solar energy capacity has increased 13 times. India has also brought the world together through the International Solar Alliance.
Speaking about the inauguration of POWERGRID’s 320 kV 2000 MW Pugalur (Tamil Nadu) – Thrissur (Kerala) HVDC project, Power Minister R.K. Singh, said that this transmission line is therefore a timely gift to Kerala. He said, “We have also expanded the inter-regional transmission r capacity from 35,950 MW – in 2014 to 1,03,550 MW today. We increased the inter-regional transmission capacity to South India from 7,250 MW in 2014 to 21,450 MW; out of which the inter-state transfer capacity to Kerala is 3,300 MW. The allocation for Kerala from the Central Sector is 2,266 MW but its peak drawl from the National Grid has already touched 3,100 MW – touching the maximum transfer capacity to Kerala. As the demand increases – and it is expected to touch 5,000 MW by 2022, the capacity to transfer more power to Kerala needs to increase.”
He further added that the project will enable transfer of 2,000 MW of additional power to Kerala. Out of this Kerala will be able to utilize 1,000 MW right now and draw remaining 1,000 MW after strengthening their system for which the work is going on.
The transmission line dedicated today is Voltage Source Converter based High Voltage Direct Current System, the most modern in the world and the first of its kind in India. It enables safe and faster transmission with reduced losses and this also enables transmission through cables. Out of 165 Kms of transmission lines about 27 kms is under ground cables. This technology facilitates smart grid; provides greater flexibility in reactive power managementand also enables integration of Renewable Energy resources. The project cost is Rs.5,070 crores.
While talking about 50 MW Kasaragod Solar Power Project Singh, said that he entire power generated from this project will be consumed by Kerala. Our rate of growth of Renewable Energy capacity is the highest in the world. We have installed 92,500 MW of Renewable Energy capacity 49,500 MW is under installation and 27,000 MW is under bid. We have emerged as the most favored destination in the world for investments in Renewable Energy. We have come out with many innovative projects – such as Solar Wind Hybrid, Floating Solar and Round the Clock Renewable Energy. We have a Solar Cities Program in which 17 States have identified one city each to be converted to a Solar City. We propose to come out with a bid for green hydrogen and we are also carrying out survey for installation of off shore wind. Our survey and preparatory work for installation of 10,000 MWs of Renewable Energy in Ladakh and its evacuation is in an advanced stage. We have projects for carbon neutral Andaman and Lakshadweep.