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Power engineers ensure India sails through '9 min lights off' (Lead)

Sunday - April 5, 2020 11:36 pm , Category : BUSINESS
New Delhi, April 5 (IANS) As people across the country switched off the lights of their homes at 9 p.m. on Sunday on the call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, power engineers across the country ensured that the 9 minutes of blackout does not lead to a collapse of the power grid across the country.
Staff at power companies including PowerGrid, NTPC, NHPC among others said that they worked overtime to see that the power did not go out of control.
According to a Power Ministry official, adequate arrangements and protocol were in place to handle the power demand variation.
The All India Power Engineers Federation has congratulated power engineers and its employees for secure and reliable operation of power grid.
AIPEF Chairman Shailendra Dubey said that that in Uttar Pradesh, the load-crash was 4,384 MW and at national level, it was about 31,000 MW which is "unprecedented".
National level generation before 9 p.m. was 1,17,000 MW which came down to 86,000 MW while in UP, it came down from 13,288 MW to 9,100 MW, he added.
Dubey noted that the whole credit goes to system engineers and employees.
Further, power producers reduced the generation much ahead of the event and reduced load on the grid that was to reduce power demand drastically. Load despatch centres had informed scheduling of power much ahead to prevent a voltage surge when all of sudden demand falls.
All state governments' load despatch centres were kept in the loop so that there was proper management of the grid, said people in the know.
Senior power generation companies' officials said that the collective effort and planning ensured that grid frequency was maintained.
Initially, there was a scare and it kept power officials busy during the weekend.
A BSES statement said: "Following Hon'ble PM's appeal, an estimated 17 million residents in BSES area switched-off their lights for 9 minutes, There was a reduction of 473 MW in BSES areas (Delhi 726 MW). We coordinated the mega event with other stakeholders at both the Central and State levels and successfully managed the event in our license area of 950 square KM in Delhi."
It said Delhi's demand reduced by 726 MW from 1,968 MW to 1,242 MW, while BSES' demand reduced from 1305 MW to 832 MW, a reduction of 473 MW, adding that it was "a hugely successful event in BSES areas".
In Tamil Nadu the crash was 2,200 MW. It was earlier expected to be 1,200 MW, but the grid is normal, said officials.
Union Power Minister R.K. Singh also monitored the power grid operations from the National Power Monitoring Centre here, along with other senior officers.
The minister said there was huge response to Prime Minister'a call as power demand went down from 117 GW to 85.3 GW within a span of 4-5 minutes.
He noted that this was handled "very very well by engineers across all levels". He congratulated all of them and said that ramp-up was also done "very smoothly" as demand and supply was back to 110 GW.
Singh also congratulated engineers at the NLDC, RLDCs, SLDCs for their professional handling, adding that the response to the event was much beyond expectation.
Complementing power gencos like NTPC, NHPC, THDC, he said they stood up to the task.
Right at 9 p.m., Indians switched off lights and lit candles or flashed mobile torches for nine minutes to express solidarity with "Corona warriors".
From metropolitan cities like Delhi and Mumbai to tier two cities like Madhya Pradesh's Gwalior or Karnataka's Mysuru, people rose above their political inclination to respond to PM Modi's call and project a united front against the coronavirus pandemic.

--IANS rrb/vd