EghtesadOnline: Routine inspections, repairs and renovation of powerlines are underway in Tehran, managing director of Iran's Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir) said.
“The company is reconditioning 1,300 kilometers of transmission and distribution lines in the province,” IRNA quoted Mohammad Hassan Motevalizadeh as saying.
The state-owned utility is optimizing medium-voltage power lines and low-voltage electricity lines in addition to upgrading equipment at substations.
Four thousand engineers, technicians and workers with special skills are involved in the two-week repair and restoration program.
The plan includes contingencies to help ensure uninterrupted power supply in the winter season and if heavy snow falls on the capital. However, in the past 20 years during to climate change Tehran has seen very little snow compared to the late 1900s.
According to official data, 1,300 km of the power distribution lines (from the total 32,000 km) in Tehran have outlived their usefulness. Ten to 15% of the ageing grid is renovated a year. It is reported that 1,200 substations (out of 18,000) in the sprawling capital need renovation.
“Maintenance, expansion, optimization and upgrading Tehran’s electricity network annually costs at least $40 million.”
Costs rise when linking new subscribers to the network, improving old and dilapidated supply systems and developing infrastructure because ageing equipment undermines efficiency and causes irritating outages, especially now that large numbers of people are working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Doing away with malfunctioning equipment, supply lines, utility poles, cables and electric meters are among Tavanir measures to help reduce electricity loss.
Old networks in three provinces, namely Tehran, Alborz and Qom increase the vulnerability of the grid, utilities have warned.
Twenty percent of the national grid’s generation and transmission and 25% of the total subscribers (18 million in three provinces) is the function of the Tehran Regional Electricity Company.
The number of electricity meters in Iran (37.5 million) on average increase by 1 million a year.
According to the Tavanir chief, power wastage in Iran's national grid has reduced from 15.5% to 10% in the last two years, which he says in a “major achievement”.
That said, there is a long way to go to reach the optimum wastage rate of 8%. "More than 10% of electricity is wasted because of dilapidated equipment and low quality parts. Upgrading and replacing equipment requires funds and our financial resources are limited.”