Switch off only lights, keep other electrical appliances on: KPTCL

‘We estimate there will be reduced load of 700 to 800 MW’

The call for a voluntary nine-minute blackout on Sunday evening by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to show solidarity in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, has put those managing power infrastructure on a high alert as they are concerned about the possibility of disruptions due to a sudden drop in demand. The PM, in his recent address to the nation, had asked people to switch off electric lights for nine minutes and light lamps or torches or switch on the mobile flashlight by standing at the door or on the balcony.

Social media abuzz

Post the announcement, social media was abuzz with warnings from various quarters, including those in power utilities, about the impact that a sudden drop in demand would have on the power infrastructure.

People have been asked by Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) to switch off only lights. KPTCL has said that other electrical appliances, such as refrigerators, air conditioners, coolers, fans and others, should be on during the period.

N. Manjula, MD, KPTCL, told The Hindu that people need not panic regarding power supply.

“Demand and load balancing issues have already been discussed by the Southern Regional Despatch Center and National Load Despatch Centers of India (NLDC). We estimate that in the State, there will be a reduced load of 700 to 800 MW during that period.

Meanwhile, 7,000 MW of power will continue to flow that caters to the demand for streetlights, the power supply needs of hospitals, and others. During the reduced load period, we will rely on hydro-electric stations as they provide operational flexibility unlike thermal electricity,” she said.

She added that at 9 p.m., depending on the load factor, hydro-electric generations will be kept on rolling mode. After the nine minutes, as the load factor picks up, necessary steps will be taken, she said, adding that they are also deploying senior experts to attend to any exigency during the period.

KPTCL, which was part of a meeting through videoconference with the National Load Despatch Centres of India (NLDC) to discuss grid security on Saturday, has said in a release that the NLDC has already issued an advisory note to all the State load despatch centres for reliable and secure system operation during the light load switch off.

The advisory has also been issued to all distribution companies to supervise the power supply during the said period.

KPTCL has also advised local bodies to switch on streetlights to avoid any law and order problems. The lights in hospitals and other essential services will remain on.

“As per the instructions of NLDC, we have instructed all the senior officers working in generating stations, distribution companies, State Load Despatch Center and KPTCL to monitor the power supply during the said period,” the release states.

A Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) circular has also elaborated on the need for precautionary measures to be taken during the period and advises all power station in-charge officials and RTAMC (Regional Transmission Assent Management Centre) operation staff to be on high alert during the period with required support staff.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 6:31:49 PM |

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