Overloading on the 400 KV Agra-Gwalior line had been warned before last year’s major blackout, what went wrong?
Apex electricity regulator the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) on Thursday asked Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO), a subsidiary of Power Grid Corporation Limited, to file a detailed report within the next fortnight regarding the grid failure last July that left 20 states in darkness for hours and affected the lives of over 60 crore Indians.
Last July’s grid collapse led to total black out in 20 states across the country that severely affected train and hospital services and normal lives as certain states were allegedly overdrawing power.
CERC has directed POSOCO to furnish details about what led to the total grid collapse on July 30 and 31 last year, what were the circumstances and how the eventuality could have been prevented, if at all.
Constituted in March 2010 POSOCO has been mandated to handle management functions of the transmission facilities of Power Grid Corporation.
PowerGrid had sent an e-mail to POSOCO on July 26, 2012 requesting for shut down of 400 KV Agra-Gwalior transmission line apparently due to likely overload. This was the power line that led to a total grid collapse of the inter-connected grids.
The CERC has asked POSOCO whether there was a communication from PowerGrid which led to revision of total transfer capability (TTC) of the Western and the Northern region.
TTC is the amount of electric power that can be transferred over the interconnected transmission network in a proper manner.
The regulator has also asked POSOCO as to why congestion charges were not imposed on Punjab on July 3 last year.
The grid collapse last year led to an unprecedented situation as majority of the Indian states were forced into darkness at noon as interconnected grids collapsed one after the other dealing a severe blow to essential services like railways and hospitals.
The Indian industry alleged that the grid failures last year clearly indicated the growing gap between demand and supply of power in the Indian sub-continent and had added that the government had failed to tackle the problems despite repeated assurances.
India has always been an energy deficient country, despite installed capacity of nearly 2.11 lakh mega watt (MW) at any given point of time India’s power utilities produce about 1.45 lakh MW