Task force set up to review Mumbai’s islanding system
Over a year after Mumbai experienced a power outage affecting lakhs of consumers, a committee that looked into the reasons found that the emergency standard operating procedures (SOPs) fall short to tackle the ‘failure’ and recommended the use of digitisation and automation to deal with such incidents in the future. A task force has also been set up to review the islanding system of Mumbai.
The energy department on Wednesday submitted the action-taken report on the recommendations made by the committee constituted to look into the power outage in Mumbai on October 12, 2020.
Dinesh Waghmare, principal secretary, energy department, said the observations of the committee have been adopted and the department has taken corrective measures. “The committee observed that our SOPs in an emergency should be revised and we have revised the SOP. A task force has been set up to take corrective measures, regarding the Mumbai Islanding System and the transmission system. The present islanding system has to be reviewed as it was set up in the 1980s. We have formed a task force to review it. All stakeholders including MSEDCL, Tata, Adani, BEST will get covered in this task force,” he said.
The islanding system, built by Tata Power in 1981, is designed to isolate its electricity network from the rest of the western grid during widespread grid disturbances. Under the system, power plants within the Mumbai region continue generating electricity during grid failures, supplying power for rail transport and essential consumers such as hospitals. However, it failed in October last year, causing an outage of up to 15 hours depending on the area within Mumbai.
Waghmare added, “The committee had indicated that SOPs for outages and emergencies should be revised, which has been done now.” Several systems are working in analogue which has to be digitised. He further said that the department has adopted various other maintenance techniques including replacing insulator strings, its maintenance, use of drones and thermal cameras to monitor hotspots. “They had recommended identifying and monitoring of hotspots. We have identified over 250 locations where 140 thermal scanning cameras, both handheld and Drones, are used for 400 KV lines. We have 24 drones which have thermal scanning cameras in it,” he said.