Thiruvananthapuram: KSEB Limited will soon launch an ambitious Rs 4000-crore project to modernize the state’s power distribution network, and rid the state of power outages, in four years. The project, which will begin in April this year, will be completed by March, 2021. Once the project is completed, the state’s distribution network will be made highly reliable and voltage drops will be a thing of the past. As part of the project, distribution losses too will be brought down, and the network will be insulated from danger. The project will supplement the Rs 10,000-crore Transgrid project the KSEBL has taken up with KIIFB funding.
Two project management units, under Kottayam and Pala KSEB circle offices, have already become operational. An executive engineer, re-designated as chief power zone manager, will be in charge of the project. As part of the project, power lines, wherever possible, will be taken underground. "Where it cannot be passed underground, these lines will be secured in aerial bundled cables to ensure maximum safety," a top KSEBL official said. Contrary to traditional overhead power lines, aerial unbundled cables are immune to short circuits caused by external forces like wind and the strike of falling branches. They can also stand in close proximity to trees and buildings, and will not generate sparks. Reducing transmission losses to the minimum, down to international standards, is the other major objective of the project. At the moment, KSEBL's distribution losses are in the range of 11-12 percent. Also, areas where there are severe voltage fluctuations will be identified and strategies will be devised to forever rid these places of future voltage drops. The project will also ensure that there will be uninterrupted flow of power through all 11 kV lines in the state. Each 11 kV feeder will have supply from at least two substations. A fault pass indicator will be installed to pinpoint the source of power failure. "The project is at an advanced stage of planning. New insights were gained while identifying the critical gaps in distribution," the official said. One such insight led to perhaps the most important target of the project: more than once source of power for each 11 kV feeder so that when supply from one substation fails, the other could be automatically activated.