Swapan K. Bhowmick, president, Teestavalley Power Transmission Limited, has over 40 years’ experience in the sector, with expertise in planning, engineering and project management of thermal and hydropower projects and their associated transmission systems. He has been involved in the design and engineering of electromechanical systems of hydro projects in the Himalayan region. He has also worked in the areas of AC/DC substation and transmission lines, SCADA, telecommunications, regulatory affairs and real-time operation of the regional grid. He has worked with NTPC, POWERGRID, KTA Tenaga, Saudi Electricity Company, Laymeher International and Energy Infratech.
In his current role, he is responsible for asset management of the 400 kV transmission lines that connect the large hydro generating complex in the eastern Himalayan region to the rest of the national grid. He spearheaded the setting up of the 400 kV quadruple moose lines passing through the difficult Himalayan terrain at an altitude of 2,600 metres and with a basic impulse level of 1,825 kV, the first-of-its-kind in the country.
Bhowmick notes that transmission lines should be loaded near their thermal capacity instead of surge impedance loading to maximise loading on the existing lines, avoiding multiple lines in the same corridor and minimising the land requirement. “Transmission planning in hilly areas requires special attention due to the acute scarcity of land,” says Bhowmick. “Many village houses have to be dismantled during the construction of transmission lines on narrow land strips, which causes immense hardship to the locals. To tackle this, high capacity conductors with narrow-based or monopole towers should be installed in these areas.” Further, Bhowmick feels that the clearance between houses and high voltage lines passing through hilly areas, at an altitude of more than 1,000 metres, needs to be reviewed. “Currently, the clearance between houses and high voltage transmission lines is equal in the plains and in hilly areas. This needs to be relooked at, given the lower dielectric strength of air at higher altitudes,” he says.
Bhowmick is an electrical engineer from NIT, Durgapur. He has been an athlete, swimmer and volleyball player. He draws inspiration from the Bhagavad Gita and as such, tries to fulfil his duties and responsibilities to the best of his ability, without emotion, attachment or expectation (anasakta karma), which gives him immense joy and inner happiness.