Seven Indian states plunged into darkness by transmission system surge

NEW DELHI, India, Jan. 4, 2001à‚–The Indian electric transmission company PowerGrid Corp. reported power was being restored after a massive blackout plunged seven states into the dark for part of a day Tuesday.

Officials said the problem was caused by a power surge in the northern transmission grid near Panki power station in Uttar Pradesh at 4.30 a.m., according to a report from CNN.

The outage affected train service and hospitals, although power to these key areas now is restored.

The state-run utility Power Grid transmits 30,000 MW of power.

During the first week of January 2000 severe deficit conditions were experienced in the Northern Region because of sustained cold weather, extra irrigation in the absence of winter rains and low generation at the hydro stations because of reduced inflows, PowerGrid officials said.

The hydroelectric station has experienced a shortage in generation of 800-900 MW (10 MU/day less compared to the previous year).

Only two units have been added to the Northern Regional Grid this year, representing about 490 MW total.

However, these new units are in the early phases of stabilisation and commercial operation. As such, the net addition of generation in the grid is in the range of 300 MW only while the reduction in hydro generation by around 800 to 900 MW. This has caused a net 600-700 MW reduction in availability against an increase in the load demand of around 6% (1000 MW).

Therefore, in a nutshell, there has been an additional shortage of 1600-1700 MW during the current season.

To help increase power to the region, PowerGrid has asked for more support from its Western Region counterparts. The HVDC line to this region provides as much as 350 MW of power. The company is also receiving about 80 MW from the Eastern Region on a 220 kV Dehri-Sahupuri circuit. An additional 360 MW is available by running 2 units at Chamera.

PowerGrid is also working on some changes which should eventually increase its system reliability.

*Modifications have been carried out in the Northern Region islanding scheme to survive the Delhi-BBMB island after separation.

*Modifications have been carried out to save the Delhi inner ring after the separation by co-ordination between DVB and BTPS and load generation balance.

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