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Chapter: Power Plant Engineering Fundamental

Power Development in India

Power is the rate doing work, which equals energy per time. Energy is thus required to produce power. We need energy to run power plants to generate electricity. We need power to run our appliances, and heat our homes. Without energy we would not have electricity.


Power is the rate doing work, which equals energy per time. Energy is thus required to produce power. We need energy to run power plants to generate electricity. We need power to run our appliances, and heat our homes. Without energy we would not have electricity.


The units of power are watts, joules per second, and horsepower,


where ;        1 Watt = 1 joule per second


1 Kilowatt = 1,000 Watts


1 Megawatt = 1,000 kilowatts


= 1 horsepower


Electricity is the most convenient and versatile form of energy. Demand for it, therefore, has been growing at a rate faster than other forms of energy. Power industry too has recorded a phenomenal rate of growth both in terms of its volume and technological sophistication over the last few decades. Elec-tricity plays a crucial role in both industrial and agricultural sectors and, therefore, consumption of electricity in the country is an indicator of productivity and growth. In view of this, power development has been given high-priority in development programme.





The history of power development in India dates back to 1897 when a 200 kW hydro-station was first commissioned at Darjeeling. The first steam station was set up in Calcutta in 1899. By the end of 1920, the total capacity was 130 mW, comprising. Hydro 74 mW, thermal 50 mW and diesel 6 mW. In 1940, the total capacity goes to 1208 mW. There was very slow development during 1935-1945 due to Second World War. The total generation capacity was 1710 mW by the end of 1951. The development really started only after 1951 with the launching of the first five-year plan.


During the First Plan, construction of a number of Major River Valley Projects like Bhakra-Nangal, Damodar Valley, Hira Kund and Chambal Valley was taken up. These projects resulted in the stepping up of power generation. At the end of the First Plan, generation capacity stood at 34.2 lakh kW.


Emphasis in Second Plan (1956-61) was on development of basic and heavy industries and related need to step up power generation. Installed capacity at the end of Second Plan reached 57 lakh kw. comprising 3800 mW thermal and 1900 MW hydel.


During the Third Plan period (1961-66), emphasis was on extending power supply to rural areas. A significant development in this phase was emergence of Inter-state Grid System. The country was divided into Five Regions to promote power development on a Regional Basis. A Regional Electricity Board was established in each region to promote integrated operation of constituent power system. Three Annual Plans that followed Third Plan aimed at consolidating programmes initiated during the Third Plan.


Fourth Plan envisaged need for central participation in expansion of power generation programmes at strategic locations to supplement activities in the State Sector. Progress during the period covering Third Plan, three Annual Plans and Fourth Plan was substantial with installed capacity rising to 313.07 lakh kW compression; 113.86 lakh kW from Hydro-electric Projects, 192.81 lakh kW from Thermal Power Projects and balance of 6.4 lakh kW from Nuclear Projects at the end of the Fifth Plan.


During the Sixth Plan, total capacity addition of 196.66 lakh kW comprising Hydro 47.68 lakh kW, Thermal 142.08 lakh kW and Nuclear 6.90 lakh kW was planned. Achievement, however, has been 142.26 lakh kW (28.73 lakh kW Hydro, 108.98 lakh kW Thermal and 4.55 lakh kW Nuclear) 72.3 per cent of the target.


The Seventh Plan power programme envisaged aggregate generating capacity of 22,245 mW in utilities. This comprised 15,999 mW Thermal, 5,541 mW Hydro and 705 mW Nuclear of the anticipated 22,245 mW additional capacity. Central Sector Programme envisaged capacity addition of 9,320 mW (7,950 mW Thermal, 665 mW Hydro and 705 mW Nuclear) during the Plan Period. During the Seventh Plan, 21401.48 mW has been added comprising 17104.1 mW Thermal 3,827.38 mW Hydro and 470 mW Nuclear. Year wise commissioning of Hydro, Thermal and Nuclear Capacity added during 1985-86 to 1989-90 is given in.


The Working Group on Power set up particularly the Planning Commission in the context of formulation of power programme for the Eighth Plan has recommended a capacity addition programme of 38,369 mW for the Eighth Plan period, out of which it is expected that the Central Sector Projects would add a capacity of 17,402 mW. The programme for the first year of the Eighth Plan (1990-91) envisages generation of additional capacity of 4,371.5 mW comprising 1,022 mW Hydro, 3,114.5 mW Thermal and 235 mW Nuclear.


The subject ?Power? appears in the Concurrent List of the Constitution and as such responsibility of its development lies both with Central and state governments. At the Centre, Department of Power under the Ministry of Energy is responsible for development of Electric Energy. The department is concerned with policy formulation, perspective planning, procuring of projects for investment decisions, monitoring of projects, training and manpower development, administration and enactment of Legislation in regard to power generation, transmission and distribution. The depart-ment is also responsible for administration of the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948 and the Indian Electricity Act, 191() and undertakes all amendments thereto. The Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948, forms basis of administrative structure of electricity industry. The Act provides for setting up of a Central Electricity Authority (CEA) with responsibility, inter-alia, to develop a National Power Policy and coordinate activities of various agencies and State Electricity Boards. The act was amended in 1976 to enlarge scope and function of CEA and enable of creation of companies for generation of electricity.


The Central Electricity Authority advises Department of Power on technical, financial and economic matters. Construction and operation of generation and transmission projects in the Central Sector are entrusted to Central Power Corporations, namely, National Thermal Power Corpora-tion (NTPC), National Hydro-Electric Power Corporation (NHPC) and North-Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCU) under administrative control of the Department of Power. The Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC} constituted under the DVC Act, 1948 and the Bhitkra Beas, Management Board (BBMB) constituted under the Punjab Reorganization. Act, 1966, is also under administrative control of the Department of Power. In addition, the department administers Beas Construction Board (BCB) and National Projects Construction Corporation (NPCC), which are construction agencies and training and research organisations, Central Power Research Institute (CPRI) and Power Engineers Training Society (PETS). Programmes of rural electrification are within the purview of Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) which is a financing agency. ??There are two joint venture Power Corporations under the administrative control of the Department of Power, namely, Nathpa jhakri Power Corporation and Tehri Hydro Development Corporation which are responsible for the execution of the Nathpa Jhakri Power Project and Projects of the Tehri Hydro Power Complex respectively. In addition to this, Energy Manage-ment Centre, an autonomous body, was established in collaboration with the European Economic Community, which is responsible for training, research, and information exchange between energy professionals. It is also responsible for conservation of energy programmes/activities in the Department of Power.


Significant progress has been made in the expansion of transmission and distribution facilities in the Country. Total length of transmission lines of 66 kV and above increased from 10,000 ckt (circuit) km in December 1950 to 2.02 lakh ckt Km in March, 1990. Highest transmission voltage in the Country at present is 400 kV and above 19800 ckt km of 400 kV lines had been constructed up to March, 1990 and about 18000 ckt km of these are in actual operation.


Prior to the Fourth Plan, Transmission Systems in the Country were developed more or less as state systems, as generating stations were built primarily in the State Sector. When State Transmission Systems had developed to a reasonable extent in the Third Plan, potentiality of inter-connected opera-tion of individual state systems with other neighboring systems within the region (northern, western, southern, eastern and north-eastern) was thought of. Fairly well inter-connected systems at voltage of 220 kV with progressive overlay of 400 kV are presently available in all regions of the Country except North-eastern Region. With creation of Two Generation Corporations, namely National Thermal Power Corporation and National Hydro-Electric Power Corporation in 1975, the Centre had started playing an increasingly larger role in the development of grid systems.


The 400 kV transmission systems being constructed by these organisa-tions as part of their gen-eration projects, along with 400 kV inter-state and inter-regional transmission lines would form part of the National Power Grid.


National Power Grid will promote integrated operation and transfer of power from one system to another with ultimate objective of ensuring optimum utilisation of resources in the Country. India now has well integrated Regional Power Systems and exchange of power is taking place regularly between a large numbers of state systems, which greatly facilitates better utilisation of existing capacity.


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