Power grid discipline improves as Punjab, UP and Haryana refrain from overdrawal

Written by Sanjay Jog | Mumbai | Updated: Oct 4 2009, 02:55am hrs
Grid frequency, which was hovering between 48.8 Hz and 49 Hz, largely due to overdrawal by Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Harayana, has now been improved from October 1. This was possible following the intervention of the power ministry, which asked these states to refrain from overdrawal of power to meet their ever rising demand. The frequency has been improved to 49.75-50 Hz, owing to the drop in overdrawal.

Power ministry sources told FE on Friday, UP, Punjab and Harayana were overdrawing over 700 to 1,000 mw of power from the national grid. It was opposed by other states, particularly from the western and southern regions, as they were forced to carry out more load shedding.

This has also posed a serious threat to the grid security as the grid frequency had dipped to the level of 48.8 Hz against the minimum level of 49 Hz as agreed by states, at the recent conference called by the power ministry. However, the ministry called upon these states to desist from overdrawal of power and maintain grid discipline.

Subsequently, the northern region load despatch centre (NRLDC) sent out a category A message to the over-drawing states, asking them to carry out load shedding when the frequency was below 49.0 Hz.

Sources admitted that the mismatch between the demand and supply is expected to grow as the pressure is increasing from agriculture consumers in the wake of a withdrawal of monsoon and because of limitations in the availability of power.

Meanwhile, of the 79 coal-based power plants with a generation capacity of 71,779.5 mw being reviewed by the Central Electricity Authority, 33 plants have coal stock of a period of less than seven days, while 19 have less than 4 days of coal stock.

The low level of stock is because of the low volume of coal received from Coal India, along with its various subsidiaries. A delay in the import of coal by the generating units has also contributed to the low level of stock.