Load dispatch centre gets modern power flow management systemThe system gathers and analyses real-time power flow data throughout the country.
The load dispatch centre at Syuchatar on Friday witnessed a major overhaul after 16 years with the commissioning of a modern power flow management system at the nucleus of the country’s web of transmission lines.
According to the Nepal Electricity Authority, the facility has been equipped with a state-of-the-art Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System, which has begun gathering and analysing real-time power flow data throughout the country while governing the distribution network.
Germany, which financed the establishment of a full-fledged load dispatch centre in 2003, has again funded the strengthening, expanding and upgrading of the facilities.
The power utility spent 2.63 million euros out of a 7 million euro grant from the German state-owned development bank KfW through German Development Cooperation to modernise and expand the integrated power system.
Under the turn-key upgradation project, the contractor German automation conglomerate Siemens is also building a backup control centre in Hetauda as a contingency measure against disruptions in the main load centre.
“The new control system and a backup centre will help the power utility to efficiently manage supply and demand of electricity, enhancing reliability, ensuring stability and security, and improving the quality of the power system,” said Suresh Bahadur Bhattarai, chief of the load dispatch centre.
The project, which began in January 2018, is expected to conclude by the end of 2019.
According to project consultant Tractebel Engineering GmbH, installation work at the backup control centre at the Hetauda substation started in June this year, and site testing and commissioning of the system is expected to be completed this autumn.
Apart from the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System, the dispatch centres will also boast energy management and network applications envisaged to improve the reliability of power supply by using real-time analytics and dispatch technologies.
“The new system will help the power utility to optimise the distribution of power and imports from India,” said the transmission directorate of the Nepal Electricity Authority. “It will enable the centre to accomplish economic dispatch of power and maintain the voltage and frequency of the system within standards which will contribute significantly to improving the financial health of the power utility.”
This has come at a time when many factories in the industrial corridors in the southern plains are complaining about intermittent supply and poor voltage hitting their productivity.
Instances of general households in major cities facing power outages have also increased because of frequent breakdowns in the near-obsolete distribution infrastructure and time-lags in reviving the grid.
The state-owned power utility has also planned to build two regional dispatch centres; one in Butwal, the starting point of the planned 400 kV cross-border transmission line, and another in Dhalkebar through where Nepal is currently importing power from India.
According to Kulman Ghising, managing director of the Nepal Electricity Authority, Nepal will witness surplus power generation in the wet season within two years, and together with cross-border trading, the country has been seriously considering ways to increase domestic power consumption.
“To achieve that, we have shifted our focus on extension, expansion and upgrading of transmission and distribution facilities,” said Ghising, while speaking to a group of high-ranking officials from the German ministry on Friday.
“I would like to take this opportunity today to thank again the government of Germany and the German people for their support to Nepal, and give special thanks to the German Development Cooperation for timely and rightly identifying the need of this country and supporting the transmission line and distribution sectors,” said Ghising.
The inauguration ceremony of the new system was jointly chaired by German Vice-Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Norbert Barthle and Nepal’s Minister of Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel, and witnessed by officials of the German ministry, donor agencies and power utility.
Apart from the dispatch centre, KfW has also channelled a 16.25-million euro grant through the European Union and German Development Cooperation into the under-construction $39 million Chilime-Trishuli 220 kV Transmission Line Project.
The transmission line will evacuate power from the Upper Sanjen, Sanjen and Rasuwagadhi hydel schemes and other independent projects in the Upper Trishuli Valley which are expected to come online by the end of the current fiscal year.