Power grid collapse becomes a worry as fog spreads tentacles

Dec 21 2013, 15:20 IST
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SummaryThe threat of climatic factors triggering the collapse of power grids remains real.

the Union power ministry to find out the causes of the grid failure, UP emerged as the biggest culprit. Faced with a power shortage of 1,500-2,000 mw and without cash to buy electricity from the open market, UP was heavily overdrawing from the grid to mitigate its shortages.

However, now the UP discom has become cash-rich after casting its short-term loans recently with lenders, and it can buy power from the market rather than relying on the UI route to overcome its power shortfall. Haryana, which was also found overdrawing power from the grid on July 30-31, has now surplus power supply because of brisk capacity additions.

Following the recommendations of the inquiry committee, the regional and state load despatch centres are implementing projects, including islanding to restrict and localise the impact of tripping of power lines and avoid grid failure. Further, states have also been asked to improve their power purchase planning so that they do not have to rely too much on the UI mechanism to meet their power shortfall.

But apart from unscrupulous power overdrawl by discoms, climatic factors like fog can also trigger power supply disruptions. “Tripping of power transmission lines happens because of fog. However, our preparations to avoid such accidents have become better,” a senior Power Grid official said. Former power secretary RV Shahi said, “Though accidents can never be ruled out, both Power Grid and system operator Posoco are cautious enough to avoid a repeat of incidents like last year's grid collapse.”

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