Lights off at 9 mins at 9 pm today: Power sector on high alert
New Delhi, Apr 05: For 9 minutes today at 9 pm all lights would be switched off, following an appeal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
All grid operators are on high alert to avert any crisis. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Friday said that all should turn off the lights in their homes at 9 pm on Sunday and light candles, diyas or flash the torch for nine minutes.
Following this announcement, the Power Ministry went into a huddle. The Ministry however said that the event would not impact the national power grid much. Power Minister, R K Singh held discussions with the Power Grid Corporation of India and the Power System Operator Corporation. It was informed that they were up to the task and could maintain grid stability for the event. It was also said that the extent of fluctuation would be minimal. However the Power Ministry has asked all state and regional load dispatch centres to be prepared.
Meanwhile several state power corporations are taking steps to ensure that there is minimal load on the grids. In Uttar Pradesh, load shedding across the state has been ordered to prevent the power grid from collapsing due to the sudden drop in demand for electricity. It has been estimated the demand for electricity is likely to slump by as much as 3,000 MW following the lights being switched off for 9 minutes.
In UP, it has been advised that all reactors be kept in service during the period. All generating stations must be ready to generate power in such a manner that the reactive power be absorbed to the limiting value of their capability curve. Load shedding in a staggered manner may be done starting from 20.00 hours to 21.00 hours, it has been decided in Uttar Pradesh.
In Tamil Nadu too measures are being taken to handle the event at 9 pm yesterday. All capacitor banks to be monitored for appropriate operation and if necessary tap changers may be operated in consultation to maintain correct voltage profile, it has also been instructed.
State-run Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO), which is responsible for integrated operation of the grid, is working towards ensuring there is no pressure on the grid due to the possible grid collapse and resultant blackout throughout the country. The Central Electricity Regulatory Authority (CERA) necessitates permissible range of the frequency band of 49.95-50.05 Hz for normal running of grid and if there is any discrepancy in the same with sudden increase or decrease in power flow, it might result into grid collapse.
Meanwhile, the Centre has clarified that there is no call to turn off the street lights or appliances at home at 9 pm today. The Power Ministry has said that only lights should be switched off. The lights in the hospitals and other essential services will remain on. Local bodies have been advised to keep the street lights on for public safety, the Power Ministry also clarified.
The ministry also said that there are some apprehensions that this may cause instability in the grid and lead to voltage fluctuations, which may harm electric appliances. These are misplaced the ministry also said.