Penal Action Against Violators Of Grid Discipline On Cards

Mumbai, Aug 25: | Updated: Aug 26 2002, 05:30am hrs
The personnel of state electricity boards (SEBs) and utilities, which default on maintaining the grid security, may, in future, face imprisonment of up to three months and/or fine up to Rs 1 lakh if the Central Electricity Autho-rity (CEA) has its way.

In a landmark proposal to curb grid indiscipline, the CEA committee, which probed the western grid failure of July 30, has strongly recommended that any default should be reported by the regional load dispatch centre (RLDC)/central transmission utility (CTU) to the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), requesting for penal action under provisions of the Electricity Regulatory Commission Act 1998 after observing due processes laid down in the Electricity Laws and Indian Electricity Grid Code (IEGC).

Frequency between 49 Hz and 48.5 Hz should be considered as alert zone and frequency below 48.5 Hz should be declared as emergency situation.

At such times, the instructions issued by the RLDC should be followed in toto and without any delay.

If the CERC upholds an appeal made in this regard by the RLDC/CTU, the punishment will then become effective.

The committee, headed by former PowerGrid Corporation chairman RK Narayan, in its report submitted to the CEA and the power ministry last week, has said that the state load dispatch centre (SLDC) in charge, along with the chief executive officer of the utility, should be personally responsible for implementation and necessary operating procedures and delegation of powers should be put in place by all the states in the region immediately and informed to the RLDC, regional electricity board (REB), CEA and CERC.

According to the committee, the priority for disconnection and the quantum of relief expected in different time slots for each of the feeders should be available with the Western RLDC and SLDCs to serve as a ready reckoner for implementation in day-to-day operations. The Western Regional Electricity Board (WREB)/WRLDC in consultations with constituents should immediately undertake an exercise to identify radial feeders in each state which would have to be cut off by the state in case grid security is apprehended.

The committee has observed that the demand control measures have to be enforced by all the states as per the WRLDC instructions. The system monitoring and instruction to states by WRLDC should be with reference to both overdrawals at operating frequency as well as overloading at 50 Hz so that demand management to the desired extent is done by all the states.

The committee has pointed out that the under frequency load shedding (UFLS) agreed to by the states has not given desired results as it shows that either the under frequency relays had been bypassed or they are on feeders which are already covered in the regular load shedding programmes of states. The ULFS should be reviewed by the WREB to ensure that system frequency does not go below 48.5 Hz.

According to the committee, on July 30, there was significant overdrawals during the day by Gujarat (86 per cent of time), Maharashtra (31 per cent of time) and Madhya Pradesh (MP) (100 per cent of time).

Taking MP and Chhattisgarh together, the overdrawal was for 75 per cent of time. From the frequency regime on that day, it is clear that all the states in the western region (WR) had overloaded the system to the extent of 1,400-1,500 mw. The overdrawals and overloading of the WR system and continued lower frequency operation is indicative of rampant grid indiscipline, the committee said.

The committee has pointed out that despite severe power shortage in the WR, gas and liquid fuel plants of 2,046 mw are shut down/not being utilised on account of non availability of gas or commercial reasons. Keeping in view the power shortage and uncertainties in the monsoon activity and possible higher power demand, it would be desirable to consider utilising this unutilised capacity. The Government of India may look into the factors inhibiting the utilisation of this capacity so as to alleviate the situation, it said.