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Modi's blackout call puts power sector on alert

ModiPrime Minister Narendra Modi
Highlights

. Senior officials at the Power Ministry are on their toes . Sudden drop or increase in frequency causes a collapse

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal for a 9-minute blackout at 9 p.m. on Sunday, has shaken the babus in the power ministry who have put themselves in a huddle to quickly devise a strategy to prevent the April 5 event from creating ground for a possible grid collapse and resultant blackout throughout the country.

The grid stability in the country is maintained by keeping power frequency within a range specified by Central Electricity Regulatory Authority (CERC). Any deviation from identified frequency is managed by increasing or decreasing power flow in the grid. Sudden drop or increase in frequency causes a collapse. The Prime Minister's call for a blackout urging citizens to light a lamp, candle or shine a mobile flashlight to dispel the darkness spread by the coronavirus, is expected to result in sudden drop in electricity demand across the country and has even the potential to disturb grid frequency creating potential situation for a grid collapse.

"Union Power Minister has discussed the issue (sudden fall in demand during April 5 blackout) with PGCIL (Power Grid) and Load dispatcher in Friday's meeting. They are up to the task and are confident of managing the grid stability for the event," said a government spokesperson.

Power System Operation Corporation Limited (POSOCO), a wholly owned Government of India Enterprise, an entrusted with the task of ensuring the integrated operation of the Grid in a reliable, efficient, and secure manner, has also been sounded off to plan scheduling of power with all the five Regional Load Despatch Centres and National Load Despatch Centre(NLDC) so that grid frequency is maintained even if demand drops suddenly during the blackout.

Sources said that state government have also been told to beready to manage the power scheduling if a need arise and keep some of their generating units in ready mode to switch off few units of grid frequency dropped suddenly. estimated 27 per cent of energy generated was lost in transmission resulting in grid collapse.

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