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Central Electricity Authority (India)

The Central Power Authority of India (CEA) provides policy advice to the government and develops plans for the development of the country's electricity systems. It is a statutory body established under section 3(1) of the Electricity Supply Act 1948, which was repealed by section 70(1) of the Electricity Act 2003.

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Roles and responsibilities of Central Electricity Authority (CEA)

Officers in the Central Power Engineering Services Cadre are recruited through the Union Public Service Commission's Engineering Services Examination and assigned to the Central Electricity Authority of India.

Under the Electricity Act 2003, the CEA is responsible for prescribing requirements for the building of electrical plants, electric lines and grid connectivity, metre installation and operation, and safety and grid standards.

259 The CEA is also responsible for approving hydropower development schemes from the federal, state, and private sectors, taking into account the factors that will result in the river and its tributaries being developed efficiently for power generation while still meeting the requirements for drinking water, irrigation, navigation, and flood control.

CEA is responsible for developing technical standards for the building of electrical plants, electric lines, and grid connection, as specified in section 73 (b) of the Electricity Act, 2003.

2. However, pursuant to section 7 of this Act, a generating firm may develop, operate, and maintain a generating station if it complies with the technical standards specified in clause (b) of section 73 for grid connectivity only. This means that generating stations are not required to adhere to the CEA technical criteria for the building of electrical plants and transmission lines. Similarly, transmission / distribution licensees are not required to comply with mandatory requirements for the construction of electric lines other than the Grid Code/Grid Standards for the operation and maintenance of transmission lines prescribed by CEA pursuant to section 73 (d) of this Act. Often, these CEA requirements are too conservative, sacrificing optimal design features/cost/utility, and often do not provide sufficient clarity in selecting the system / subsystem capabilities of electrical plants and transmission lines.

The CEA is a leader in supporting regional power grid integration and the evolution of a national grid. The eastern, western, and north-eastern grids have been integrated and are now working in sync. The eastern grid is connected to both the northern and southern grids by high-voltage direct current back-to-back cables. Similar arrangements connect the western grid to the northern and southern grids. The CEA promotes mutually beneficial power exchanges inside the country, from surplus to deficit regions, and with neighbouring countries.

The CEA provides technical advice to the federal government, state governments, and regulatory bodies on the technical aspects of electricity generation, transmission, and distribution. Additionally, it advises state governments, licensees, and generating corporations on subjects that enable them to improve the operation and maintenance of the electricity system under their ownership or control.

CEA responsibilities also include the gathering, management, and transmission of credible data on the power industry. However, there are significant discrepancies in the fundamental electrical data provided by CEA and NLDC (CEA data is roughly 5% higher than NLDC data).

According to data from the Central Electricity Authority of India, on October 5, out of 135 thermal power plants that burn coal for electricity generation, 106, or over 80%, are in the critical or supercritical stage, meaning they have only enough coal for the next 6-7 days. These 106 power projects have a combined capacity of 1,33,849 MW.

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