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Automation of substations in Vizianagaram soon

Officials say procedure will ensure power supply to users at lower maintenance cost.

Published: 14th February 2021 08:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th February 2021 08:30 AM   |  A+A-

Image for representation(File photo | Reuters)

Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA:  The energy department has decided to fully automate all existing and upcoming substations in Vizianagaram district. A common control room will be established from where all operational activities would be performed remotely. The initiative comes as the department has decided to automate the substations at a few places on a pilot basis.

Transmission Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (APTRANSCO) directed the officials concerned to take up the necessary works two days ago. The officials noted that the unmanned substations can provide information needed to supply uninterrupted power to customers at a lower maintenance cost. They said substation automation system (SAS) is used for the facilities’ protection and monitoring, and hence power system reliability and fault clearing ability can be improved. 

The automation is also being done keeping in mind the government’s free agriculture power scheme so as to enable enhancement of system efficiencies with minimal human intervention.The energy department has plans to turn 3,000 substations across the state into fully unmanned.  It is learnt that World Bank would provide financial assistance under the 24x7 uninterrupted power supply initiative. 

While the department is keen on SAS, power engineers also warn of the potential downside to the initiative. They said that no other state in the country has unmanned 132 KV and 220 KV substations. PGCIL is operating new substations fully unmanned at 400 KV and 765 KV where problems are relatively less. They also expressed apprehension that turning old substations into unmanned ones is not be advisable as the existing system might not facilitate remote operation. Besides technical aspects, automation would also result in 15-16 outsourcing job losses per substation, they said.

Job loss fears 
Power engineers say old substations may not support remote monitoring of operations, and the automation would result in 15 outsourcing job losses per substation



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