Mumbai

State prepares action plan for nine-minute blackout tonight

Taking precaution: Reduction in load could lead to high voltages of 400kV and 765kV in the State’s power system.

Taking precaution: Reduction in load could lead to high voltages of 400kV and 765kV in the State’s power system.   | Photo Credit: S. HARPAL SINGH;S. HARPAL SINGH - S_ HARPAL SINGH

MAHATRANSCO says preparation and stabilisation of system will take two hours

In view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to switch off lights for nine minutes at 9 p.m. on Sunday, Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (MAHATRANSCO) formulated an action plan on Saturday.

All power generating companies in the State have been asked to verify the high/low frequency trip setting and time delay setting.

MAHATRANSCO said there could be a sudden drop in power demand in the 1700-1750 MW range. An increase in system frequency and reduction in load could lead to high voltages of 400kV and 765kV in the State’s power system. It may also result in increased voltages in the lower network.

MAHATRANSCO said all power distribution companies, local civic bodies, deemed distribution licensees should ensure that street lights are switched on. It has specifically mentioned that home appliances such as fans and air conditioners should be kept running and power supply is maintained to hospitals. The control rooms of hydro and wind power plants have been directed to be manned fully with experienced operators.

MAHATRANSCO said though the exercise is nine minutes long, vigilance is essential as preparation and stabilisation of the system will take two hours: 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. All distribution companies have been asked to ensure that distribution feeders are not switched on and off during the blackout.

On Friday, Power Minister Nitin Raut had expressed apprehensions about Mr. Modi’s appeal and said it could affect the power grid.

Goa to monitor situation

The power department of Goa government said it will be monitoring the situation in real time to ensure that there is no grid failure due to sudden fall in load.

Mr. Modi has urged people to switch off lights at their homes and light lamps, candles or mobile phone torches to display the country’s “collective resolve” to defeat coronavirus. State Principal Secretary Puneet Goel urged Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant to appeal to the people “not to switch off their appliances” during the nine-minute observance.

‘Won’t affect power grid’

Meanwhile, a senior Gujarat government official said the State’s power grid is capable of handling sudden fluctuations. The clarification came amid concerns that the simultaneous power switch off might trip the grid. “We are absolutely capable of absorbing such demand drop. There wouldn’t be a major fluctuation. There is absolutely no threat to the grid because the grid has a mechanism to manage such exigencies,” said Shahmeena Husain, managing director of Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam.

“Such exigencies can come from both the demand and supply sides. Sometimes demand drops when there is a sudden heavy rain during summer. Even generation rises suddenly due to heavy wind,” she said.

(With PTI inputs)

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 10:28:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/state-prepares-action-plan-for-nine-minute-blackout-tonight/article31260565.ece

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