KOCHI: Amidst concerns raised by power managers across the country about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to turn off lights and observe nine minute candlelight vigil at 9 pm on Sunday, the Kerala State Electricity Board has formulated a contingency plan to avoid grid failure due to the sudden drop and rise in power consumption.
“If all the 85 lakh domestic consumers switch off lights at their house at 9 pm on Sunday, there will be a sudden drop in consumption which we peg around 400 MW. Tamil Nadu will experience a drop of 2,000 MW while the country will be facing a decline of 20,000 MW in consumption. This will lead to a grid crash and the country will plunge into darkness. So power managers are working out a plan to avoid the worst scenario,” KSEB chairman N S Pillai told TNIE.
“If there is a sudden and steep drop in power consumption, the voltage and frequency of power in the grid will increase and this will lead to tripping of generators. The end result will be a power blackout,” he said.
The KSEB has worked out a plan to switch off four generators at various hydroelectric projects like Sabarigiri, Sholayar and Idukki, which will help diminish the gap between generation and consumption.
“We will be shutting down the generators to balance the drop in consumption. At 9.09 pm we expect a sudden surge as people will be switching on the lights. We cannot generate such a huge volume of power and inject it into the grid within a short time span. So we are planning to switch off a few feeders after 9 pm. Once the candlelight vigil is over, we will switch on the generators and feeders one by one,” Pillai said.
The board also plans to switch off the capacitor banks installed across the state to control the voltage fluctuation. The KSEB does not expect a whole-hearted patronage to the PM’s call in Kerala. So the actual dip in consumption will be in the range of 250 to 300 MW. Meanwhile, the Power Grid Corporation of India has asked the operation staff to remain alert during the mass power switch-off event on Sunday.
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India has given a call to keep all fans on from 8.55 pm to 9.10 pm to maintain grid stability during the candlelight vigil to highlight the country’s spirit in fighting Covid-19.
KSEB incurring a loss of Rs 15 crore a day due to lockdown Meanwhile, the 21-day lockdown has pushed the KSEB into dire straits as the power manager is incurring a loss to the tune of Rs 12 to 15 crore per day due to the decline in consumption. As commercial and industrial establishments have been shut down, there is a drop in consumption ranging from 2 to 2.5 crore units per day.
“The average power consumption in Kerala is around 9 crore units per day. With most of the commercial institutions shutting down due to Covid-19 lockdown, there is a steep drop in consumption. The high tension and extra high tension consumers are not drawing power which has caused us a loss of `12 to 15 crore per day,” said the KSEB chairman.