Smriti Kak Ramachandran

Stringent penalties helped reduce overdrawals by other States

New code instilled discipline in scheduling power

NEW DELHI: Delhi is finally benefitting from the new grid code enforced by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission that has made penalties for grid violations more stringent. There have been fewer power cuts in the city on account of under-frequency relays caused by overdrawing by other States.

According to senior officials in the Power Department, there has been a discernible change in the behaviour of the States since the implementation of the CERC's new grid code. The new grid code that was implemented on May 3 has raised the financial penalty on States overdrawing power from the grid.

“States that were overdrawing with an abandon, unmindful of the risk that they were exposing the grid to, have finally learnt to adhere to grid discipline, because now the penalty for overdrawing has gone up by 40 per cent. Some States were issued warnings time and again to maintain grid discipline, but few chose to fall in line,” said an official of the Power Department.

As per the new grid code, States that overdraw when the frequency is below 49.5 Hz now have to pay 40 per cent more on unscheduled interchange (UI) rates -- currently Rs.8.73 per unit, when the frequency is 49.5 Hz. Similarly, for overdrawals when the frequency is less than 49.2 Hz the penalty amount has been increased to Rs.17.46 per unit, which is double the regular UI rates.

“The power exchange rates too have been affected by these changes in the unscheduled interchange rates. Penalties have been imposed for both underdrawal as well as overdrawal. For instance for Delhi, the overdrawal and underdrawal has been fixed at 250 MW. If Delhi draws over this 250 MW, it will have to pay the penalty, and if it underdraws below the fixed quantum then instead of Rs.8 per unit, it will have to sell power at Rs.4 per unit, which is half the rate and a disincentive,” the official explained. He went on to add: “The new code has instilled discipline in scheduling power as well. States will either have to schedule carefully or then buy or sell through the power exchange.”

Referring to how Delhi has benefitted, the official said: “When there was rampant overdrawal from the Northern Grid, to which 22 other States are attached, the under frequency relays in the city were between 40 to 50 a day. And these under frequency relays were responsible for the unscheduled power cuts, but in the past fortnight the under frequency relays have come down to under five a day, which has saved the city from recurrent power cuts.”