Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray recently asked officers of Tata Power to hand over land for a 400-kV substation at Vikhroli to Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited (AEML) immediately as there had been no movement on the project since 2009. The CM asked AEML to complete the project by 2023. Once complete, the substation will increase Mumbai’s power supply by 1,500 MW.
Recently, four days after the city experienced a rare, hours-long power outage, Thackeray held a review meeting with officers from Mantralaya, Tata Power and AEML. Dinesh Waghmare, managing director of the Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Limited (MSETCL), said, “The Vikhroli substation was in the state transmission facility plan and was meant to be built by Tata Power. But between 2009 and 2018 the Tatas did not do much. In 2018, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission decided to close the project and invite fresh, tariffbased competitive bidding.”
Tata Power approached an appellate tribunal, which declined to grant them a stay. The bidding process went ahead, coordinated by MSETCL, and the project was awarded to AEML. It provided pre-development expenditure and MSETCL handed over the special purpose vehicle to the company. But Tata Power, which had leased the land from Godrej, had refused to hand it over along with related no-objection certificates. After the meeting with the CM, however, Tata Power agreed to hand over the land to AEML in two to three days. A source told Mirror that AEML also asked Thackeray for certain environmental clearances related to the project, which the CM agreed to. “This substation will get power from the Kharghar substation of MSETCL and two substations in the power grid at Talegaon and Panvel. Now the dispute related to the land is over,” said Waghmare.
He said that once completed, the Vikhroli substation will serve as another gateway for Mumbai’s power supply. “At present, the city is overdependent on the Kalwa station, where there is often overheating of conductors. This will provide an alternative corridor. The Vikhroli substation will also be able to tap solar energy for Mumbai,” he said.
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