Inspections will be launched next month in major electrical sub-stations in the four southern states to check whether they are adequately equipped to avoid grid breakdowns such as the one which occurred in July, which plunged a large part of the country into darkness.
In Phase I of the ‘Protection Systems Audit’ to be launched in October, equipment of 118 sub-stations in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh will be put under the scanner.
The audit, to be led by the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL), is part of an emergency nation-wide exercise prompted by grid failures in the inter-
connected north, eastern and north-eastern grids on July 30 and 31. “Thirty-seven sub-stations in Tamil Nadu, eight in Kerala, 26 in Karnataka and 47 in Andhra Pradesh will be covered in this phase,” sources said.
The audit would cover all 400 kV sub-stations, sub-stations directly linked to the power generation stations and those linked to the inter-state transmission lines.
The four states and Pondicherry make up the Southern Grid in the nation’s power supply system.
An inquiry committee which investigated the breakdowns in the northern, eastern and north-eastern grids on July 30 and July 31 had recommended ‘extensive review and audit’ of the protective systems at all the important sub-stations and generation stations across the country to avoid similar
‘undesirable operation’ in future. “The decision for the audit in the south was taken on September 21 at a meeting of transmission and distribution agencies in Bangalore. As per the decision, the inspections would begin in the first fortnight of October,” sources said.
Unauthorised use of power on a massive scale from the grid by a few states had resulted in grid breakdowns in the northern region on July 30 and the northern, north-eastern and eastern regions the next day.
As many as 21 states were hit by blackouts in what has since been described as the worst power failure India had witnessed.