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Sunday 31 May 2020

POSOCO explains why grid did not trip when people switched lights off

The national load despatch centre's figures don't match doomsayers', but now the social media sensations claim their prediction was right but the engineers handled it

Even as doomsayers were proven wrong last night despite the overwhelming response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to switch household lights off at 9 PM for 9 min, the Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) Limited deemed it fit to explain how they managed the grid. In a release of its preliminary report, the state-run company said, “The event was managed smoothly without any untoward incident while power system parameters were maintained within limits.”

The POSOCO noted before this statement that “Looking at the various suggestions floating in social media such as the need to switch off all household appliances for the safety of equipment or switching on additional devices, the Minister of State for Power (had) issued a press release” on 4 April, clarifying the need for switching off only the lights.

“The anticipated reduction in all India demand during this period of 9 min was around 12000 — 14000 MW,” explained POSOCO, “considering that only lights would be switched off.”

The POSOCO had issued a “detailed advisory… on 4 April afternoon after a conference call with all the State Load Despatch Centers and the major hydro plants in the country.” the release says, adding, “Elaborate mock exercise on hydro ramping was carried out on 4 April night and 5 April morning.”

Summarising its actions last night, POSOCO said, “The total reduction in all India demand recorded during the event was 31,089 MW. All India demand started reducing from 8:45 PM and minimum demand of 85,799 MW was recorded at 9:10 PM.”

Subsequently from 9:10 PM, POSOCO said the demand started picking up and settled around 1,14,400 MW at 10:10 PM.

The grid frequency during the event remained in the range of 50.26 Hz to 49.70 Hz with a maximum and minimum frequency of 50.259 Hz and 49.707 Hz recorded at 9:08 PM and 8:49 PM respectively, the company explained.

The figures above certainly do not match those of the doomsaying ‘experts’. But today, they brazened it out, saying that their prediction had come true but the power grid engineers somehow managed it!

The all-India and region-wise demand details for the event are as under.

Time (Hrs)Demand (MW)Reduction w.r.t. All India Demand at 20:45 Hrs

Action taken by POSOCO and associates

POSOCO narrated the events of the night, saying the engineers maximised hydro generation across the country by 8:45 PM. With the resources available, they achieved a generation reduction of 17,543 MW (from 25,559 MW to 8016 MW) between 20:45 Hrs to 21:10 Hrs (matching with demand reduction of 31089 MW during the same period). They ramped up this hydro generation from 8,016 MW to 19,012 MW from 9:10 PM to 9:27 PM to meet the increase in demand after the event, the national load despatch centre said.

The engineers achieved a reduction of total 10,950 MW generation through thermal (6,992 MW), gas (1,951 MW) and wind generation (2,007 MW) between 8:45 PM and 9:10 PM.

They took advance actions such as switching off transmission lines, taking reactors in service, changing SVC, STATCOM, HVDC setpoints etc prior to the event to keep voltages and line loadings within permissible limits.

POSOCO acknowledged in the release the support and cooperation of all the stakeholders in successfully meeting this unprecedented challenge.

For technical specifications, readers may go through the following file.

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