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Electricity transmission lines are weak: MERC

Until March 2018, BEST will get electricity from Tata Power's Trombay power plants while Reliance Infrastructure distributes electricity to suburbs.

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Electricity transmission lines are weak: MERC
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Transmission lines that bring electricity into Mumbai are very weak, and the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has come down heavily on the poor transmission network. In September 2014, there was a severe power outage due to issues in transmission lines that led to blackouts in the city.

MERC has now asked relevant authorities to plan and augment the transmission system to meet the city's demand. There are 13 transmission lines supplying 2786MW of power to Mumbai, which come from Kalwa, Trombay and Borivli. Mumbai has a peculiar tie-up with the MSEDCL that supplies 500MW through this transmission network in case there is a power outage.

Until March 2018, BEST will get electricity from Tata Power's Trombay power plants while Reliance Infrastructure distributes electricity to suburbs. Now that the Undertaking has planned to opt out and buy electricity through competitive bidding, power experts claim there is severe need for improving the transmission network.

'Considering future demand growth, a far greater capacity to import power into and export power from Mumbai is essential and urgent,' stated MERC in its September 23 order. The Commission also claims that with 750MW of electricity coming from outside Mumbai, it could restrict ability of other power distributors to meet fluctuations.

Sources said Mumbai's transmission companies are not showing any interest in augmenting and strengthening the lines. "In this context, the Commission has grave concerns and is deeply dissatisfied at the slow progress of various planned Transmission Schemes to enhance the transmission capacity of Mumbai, which would enable more power to be brought into the city,' stated MERC in the order. Overloading in the transmission network will automatically put pressure on other lines as well.

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