The Government of India wants to ensure 24×7 affordable and quality power for all. Though this is an important target, the power grids across the country have historically been struggling with various issues which make this objective sound doubtful and unfeasible as of now. India is still home to millions of unlit households and suffers from long power outages, even in the most developed cities and towns.
However, assuring that things will soon fall in line, the minister for power, R. K. Singh, stated in Parliament, “The ministry of power had constituted an enquiry committee to analyze the causes of the major grid disturbances in northern region and to suggest measures to avoid recurrence of such disturbance in the future. The committee submitted the report on August 16, 2012.”
Singh further added, “To mitigate the issue of load encroachment, the committee recommended review of zone-3 philosophy. Subsequently, a task force on power system analysis under contingencies was constituted in December 2012, which submitted its report in August 2013. Regarding the issue of load encroachment, the task force gave its detailed recommendation on zone-3 philosophy. The recommendations of this task force have been implemented in all the five regional electricity grids in consultation with their constituents.”
Key Measures Taken to Check Grid Outages and Power Swings
- The operation of the power grids in the country and its monitoring are governed by the Indian Electricity Grid Code (IEGC) issued by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC). Accordingly, the operation of the regional grids is supervised by the respective Regional Load Dispatch Centers (RLDCs) whereas overall operation of the inter-regional grid is supervised by the National Load Dispatch Centre (NLDC). This includes operational measures to avoid any grid outage, on real time basis.
- In cases of sudden disturbances which have potential to disturb prevailing load generation balance or which could result in overloading of some transmission corridors, Special Protection Schemes (SPS) have been provided on case to case basis to avoid cascade tripping and to ensure faster restoration of the electrical system.
- In monthly meetings of Regional Power Committees (RPCs), the outage planning of inter-state and interregional transmission elements are discussed and finalized in consultation with RLDCs / NLDC.
- The requisite protection to avoid the unwarranted tripping on lines due to power swings has been deployed in all five regional electricity grids.
Singh also stated that the government has also taken steps for better protection system of electricity grids to prevent future grid disturbances.
Third party protection audit of all substations is carried out periodically to identify deficiencies in existing protection system. Government of India has granted funds from Power System Development Fund (PSDF) for rectification of discrepancies identified in the third-party protection audit of the states and utilities. To date, an amount of ₹31,980 million (~$465.34 million) has been sanctioned for 41 programs for renovation and upgrade of protection system. Automatic Under Frequency Load Shedding (AUFLS) protection programs have also been implemented in all the regions to improve grid’s stable operation, added Singh.
Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.