Power grid staff on high alert for Sunday night blackout

As per authorities, instructions had been issued to the operation staff on the need for switching off capacitor banks during the blackout period.

As per authorities, instructions had been issued to the operation staff on the need for switching off capacitor banks during the blackout period.  

They are concerned about possible outage caused by sudden drop in power supply

The call for a nine-minute blackout on Sunday evening by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to show solidarity with the fight against COVID-19 pandemic has put those managing power grids across the country on high alert as they are concerned about possible power outage that may be caused due to sudden drop in power supply.

Inter-Office Communication has already been issued by the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. (PGCIL) to explain about the special duties and vigil to be maintained on Sunday night during the blackout period as it is likely to cause sudden power requirement during the said period and subsequently, may lead to sudden increase in system voltage at various power stations leading to outage of grid element due to constraints.

The circular elaborated on the need for precautionary measures to be taken to prevent any problem. The circular advises all power station in-charge officials and RTAMC (Regional Transmission Assent Management Centre) operation staff to be on high alert with required support staff. The circular also stresses on the extreme vigil needed to be maintained and proper liason with the National Transmission Asset Management Centre (NTAMC)

As per the circular, all station in-charge/senior-level executives are required to be available at their respective station control rooms and work places to take care of any contingency and also for smooth cooperation with respective RLDCs (Regional Load Despatch Centres) Emergency gang/tools and plants if required may be tied up in advance. It also emphasised the need for maintaining precautionary guidelines for COVID-19 with regard to social distancing and protective gear.

As per authorities, the sudden reduction in demand of power might lead to high voltage surge in the power grids and precautionary measures are required to be taken to prevent disruption in service.

Already several messages are in circulation over social media over the damage such a blackout might cause to the power grids and also possible damages at households due to voltage surge. Some posts are also appealing to people to not switch off electrical equipment at one go. These posts also request the people to not to switch off electrical equipment like fans, refrigerators and others to prevent sudden drop in power.

General Manager of Hubballi Electricity Supply Company (HESCOM) J.L. Belagali said instructions had already been issued to the operation staff on the need for switching off the capacitor banks during the blackout period.

Mr. Belagali clarified that only in very rare case damages might occur as the call was only for switching off lights and power consumption for the same was very less. “However, we advise against turning off the main switch in bigger apartments. Our staff will contact office-bearers of residents association and educate them in this regard,” he said.

Because of the lockdown, power consumption has come down in the HESCOM limit like elsewhere in other ESCOMs. Meanwhile, KPTCL is also likely to take steps to educate consumers.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 4:59:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/power-grid-staff-on-high-alert-for-sunday-night-blackout/article31259141.ece

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