New Delhi: Optimistic about India's electricity grid becoming the largest in the world, Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has said that checks and balances have been put in place to avoid re-occurrence of any major grid collapse, similar to the one witnessed last summer.
India's transmission capacity during the 12th Five-Year Plan period ending FY 2016-17, is expected to go up from 28,000 megawatts to 65,000 megawatts, "making it the largest grid in the world," he said.
The Power Minister also stressed that last year's grid failure, which saw nearly half of the country going without electricity for hours on two consecutive days in July, happened because of huge overdrawals in defiance of rules.
"It (grid collapse) happened not because of the central government or because of all the state governments. It happened because we didn't stick to the rules.
"If you don't follow the rules of overdrawal and underdrawal of the system, you introduce greater volatility in the grid and the moment you have huge squeeze of volatility in the grid that ultimately can lead to a grid collapse, and that is what happened," Scindia told in an interview.
The minister said that certain corrective steps have been taken and more are underway to check this kind of volatility. "This volatility can be reduced in many ways. You can reduce the frequency band, you can engage with state governments to ensure that they don't overdraw or underdraw beyond the prescribed limit, you can bring about changes in the (Electricity) Act.
"All those avenues we are exploring and are closing down on a bunch of issues. I am glad to say that the volatility curve to a great deal has flattened out in the last 4-5 months because we have taken steps. The state governments, state regulators and CERC have also taken steps.
But, he said, along with all of these, there was another important initiative to connect the Southern grid with the remaining grids.
"Once that is done, India's grid, which today has 28,000 megawatts of electricity supply capability along with the Southern grid, will become one of the largest synchronously connected grids of the world.
Explaining the checks being put in place to lower the volatility, Scindia said: "If there is an underdrawal, the generators will clamp down because that means you need less generation in the system.
"If there is overdrawal and if load-shedding is not happening at the local level, the transmission of electricity will be shut off in that sector. If a state at its local level is not doing local load-shedding, then the load shedding will start at the regional level to ensure stability of the grid."


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