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9 PM for 9 minutes: When the lights of India go out

Maharashtra Power Minister raises concerns, viral whatsapp forward about power grid collapse shot down by Karnataka power officials

Sabrangindia 04 Apr 2020

LightImage Courtesy:zeenews

On April 3, Prime Minister Modi implored all citizens to turn off all lights in their homes on April 5, for 9 minutes at 9 PM, and stand in their windows, balconies our door steps with diyas, candles or cell-phone lights, to fight the darkness amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. While the PM’s campaign is purportedly in a bid to help people find some cheer amidst the lockdown, concerns are being raised about the impact this would have on the state and national power grids.

Maharashtra Power Minister said, "The sudden shutdown could impact the generation-supply equation. We cannot ignore the possibility of state and central power grids getting impacted when everyone switches off lights together." Explaining the fall in demand he said, "As it is the power demand has gone down from 23,000 MW to 13,000 MW. Industrial demand is down to zero. When all domestic consumers shut off their lights all at once, the grid could fail and all power stations could trip, plunging the entire state into darkness." He said that Maharashtra has traditionally had a high demand for power and a grid failure here could have a cascading effect. "This could lead to a multi-state grid failure and the entire country could go dark. This would also adversely impact essential services and especially hospitals. It takes 16 hours to get one power station to start working again. Therefore, I would request citizens to consider this carefully and cooperate with us," said Raut.

But things in neighbouring Karnataka appear to be different. A Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. (KPCL) official told Deccan Herald, “The average load during the evening in Karnataka is 7,000 to 8,000 MW. Turning off the lights will lead to a drop of about 800 MW, which is manageable if other utilities and street lights continue to draw power. Turning off everything may lead to complications.”

It is vital to note that the PM’s idea has to do with just turning off lights, and not all appliances. Refrigerators, air conditioners and other appliances can be kept running. It is also important to not fall for viral whatsapp forwards that make dire predictions about the impact of the fall in demand. The KPCL has itself shot down a viral forward purportedly by an electrical engineer that warns of a grid collapse as it is already allegedly functioning at 40 per cent of its capacity.

Meanwhile, the state-run Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) is already making all necessary arrangements as this will be a planned blackout. An official told News18, that all five regional load dispatch centers and national load dispatch center have been have been informed to ensure grid frequency is maintained even if power demand drops suddenly during this blackout.

Economic times quoted a government spokesperson as saying, “Union Power Minister has discussed the issue (sudden fall in demand during April 5 blackout) with PGCIL (PowerGrid) and Load dispatcher in today's meeting. They are upto the task and are confident of managing the grid stability for the event.”

Ever since the lockdown, power demand has dropped owing to non-operation of industrial units who are major power guzzlers. Live Mint reports that India has a baseload power demand of roughly 160 gigawatts (GW), that is 160,000 megawatts (MW). The report also says that during this 9-minute lights out initiative, about 10,000-12,000 MW of power demand is expected to vanish, according to estimates by power industry experts. An official from the Ministry of Power told Live Mint that A recent example of major shifts in power demand over a short timeframe was on Janta Curfew of 22 March, when national power demand fell to 135GW, down 26GW from the 161GW demand on the previous day (21 March). That’s a difference of 26,000 MW handled successfully over a 24-hour period.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Power has issued a circular to Chief Secretaries of all states assuring that adequate measures are being taken to ensure that the power grids are not affected during the blackout. The circular may be viewed here:

Prime Minister

Related:

Light a diya, manifest collective superpower, boost morale: PM Modi

 

9 PM for 9 minutes: When the lights of India go out

Maharashtra Power Minister raises concerns, viral whatsapp forward about power grid collapse shot down by Karnataka power officials

LightImage Courtesy:zeenews

On April 3, Prime Minister Modi implored all citizens to turn off all lights in their homes on April 5, for 9 minutes at 9 PM, and stand in their windows, balconies our door steps with diyas, candles or cell-phone lights, to fight the darkness amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. While the PM’s campaign is purportedly in a bid to help people find some cheer amidst the lockdown, concerns are being raised about the impact this would have on the state and national power grids.

Maharashtra Power Minister said, "The sudden shutdown could impact the generation-supply equation. We cannot ignore the possibility of state and central power grids getting impacted when everyone switches off lights together." Explaining the fall in demand he said, "As it is the power demand has gone down from 23,000 MW to 13,000 MW. Industrial demand is down to zero. When all domestic consumers shut off their lights all at once, the grid could fail and all power stations could trip, plunging the entire state into darkness." He said that Maharashtra has traditionally had a high demand for power and a grid failure here could have a cascading effect. "This could lead to a multi-state grid failure and the entire country could go dark. This would also adversely impact essential services and especially hospitals. It takes 16 hours to get one power station to start working again. Therefore, I would request citizens to consider this carefully and cooperate with us," said Raut.

But things in neighbouring Karnataka appear to be different. A Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. (KPCL) official told Deccan Herald, “The average load during the evening in Karnataka is 7,000 to 8,000 MW. Turning off the lights will lead to a drop of about 800 MW, which is manageable if other utilities and street lights continue to draw power. Turning off everything may lead to complications.”

It is vital to note that the PM’s idea has to do with just turning off lights, and not all appliances. Refrigerators, air conditioners and other appliances can be kept running. It is also important to not fall for viral whatsapp forwards that make dire predictions about the impact of the fall in demand. The KPCL has itself shot down a viral forward purportedly by an electrical engineer that warns of a grid collapse as it is already allegedly functioning at 40 per cent of its capacity.

Meanwhile, the state-run Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) is already making all necessary arrangements as this will be a planned blackout. An official told News18, that all five regional load dispatch centers and national load dispatch center have been have been informed to ensure grid frequency is maintained even if power demand drops suddenly during this blackout.

Economic times quoted a government spokesperson as saying, “Union Power Minister has discussed the issue (sudden fall in demand during April 5 blackout) with PGCIL (PowerGrid) and Load dispatcher in today's meeting. They are upto the task and are confident of managing the grid stability for the event.”

Ever since the lockdown, power demand has dropped owing to non-operation of industrial units who are major power guzzlers. Live Mint reports that India has a baseload power demand of roughly 160 gigawatts (GW), that is 160,000 megawatts (MW). The report also says that during this 9-minute lights out initiative, about 10,000-12,000 MW of power demand is expected to vanish, according to estimates by power industry experts. An official from the Ministry of Power told Live Mint that A recent example of major shifts in power demand over a short timeframe was on Janta Curfew of 22 March, when national power demand fell to 135GW, down 26GW from the 161GW demand on the previous day (21 March). That’s a difference of 26,000 MW handled successfully over a 24-hour period.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Power has issued a circular to Chief Secretaries of all states assuring that adequate measures are being taken to ensure that the power grids are not affected during the blackout. The circular may be viewed here:

Prime Minister

Related:

Light a diya, manifest collective superpower, boost morale: PM Modi

 

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