THE RECENT linking of the northern grid with the eastern and the western grids might have improved the grid frequency in the power starved northern States including UP, but the same has also exposed the connecting States to a greater risk.
“It looks very good so long as the things go smoothly, but in case of a grid failure the damages will be wide-spread and the situation may be difficult to be tacked with,” said a director posted in the UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL).
He said the UPPCL had now made the 49-hertz of the grid frequency, as the base-line unlike 48.5 hertz till the linking of the grids took place. “Now we ensure that the grid frequency does not drop below the 49 hertz,” he added. He stressed that the danger level had gone up after the grids were linked and it called for better grid management and improved communication system now.
In fact, now failure of one grid would lead to a chain reaction leading to collapse the two connecting grids too. One does not know about the consequences till the problem actually happens, he said.
Another UPPCL officer of chief engineer level feared that the States including UP were not equipped to cope up with the situation of a grid failure. “In case of grid disturbance that will affect all northern, eastern and southern States, it is not clear yet as to who will first take the corrective measures to save the grid from collapse and also who will provide ‘juice’ to machines to normalise the grid once it actually fails,” he pointed out.
The Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (UPPCL) had recently linked the northern grid with the eastern and the western grids through a 1,200 km line from Tala (Bhutan) that connects Mandola (Near Delhi), through Singrauli (West Bengal), Purnea (Bihar), Muzaffarpur (Bihar), Gorakhpur (UP) and Bareilly (UP). The credit for constructing the transmission line between Gorakhpur and Bihar goes to the UPPCL.
UPPCL Managing Director, Avnish Awasthi said that unlike earlier when there flowed only around 25000 MW of power in the eastern grid, now there flowed around 80,000 MW of power in the same grid. “This has of course thrown more load on the lines and the possibility of their developing some faults at one stage or another cannot be ruled out,” he said. He admitted that now grid monitoring had become a bit more complex and required the system managers to be more alert.
Another UPPCL officer stressed the need for immediately putting in place the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system which employed a wide range of computer and communication technologies for better grid monitoring. He said now what happened was that the field staff often ignored the control room’s direction for imposing power cuts when so required during the grid disturbance, due to lack of proper centralised monitoring mechanism. But the SCADA would solve this problem, he suggested.