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Delhi’s power islanding scheme put off to March

According to reports, over the course of the next few months Delhi will have to pray for no power fluctuations and no threats to the Northern Grid as its islanding scheme — a shield against the after-effects of a power grid collapse — is unlikely to be ready before March. The elaborate plan to island the city’s power installations that was accepted by the Union Ministry of Power this past October and supposed to be in place by January has now been put off to March.

A senior government official said the plan to island the power installations and prevent disruptions in power supply during grid disturbances is under way and likely to complete in the next three months.

“We have already identified the plan, which has been approved by the Central Government. Work is on in full swing, all clearances have been given, it is being monitored regularly and we are hopeful of the system being ready by March. Central Power Research Institute, Bangalore, has been roped in to carry out simulation studies,” the official told The Hindu .

The need for an islanding plan was reinforced after two major grid disturbances on two consecutive days this past July snapped power supply to large parts of the country. Delhi, which is attached to the Northern Grid, had to bear the brunt of the disturbances that were caused by rampant overdrawal of power by some States.

The Union Power Minister in a meeting with the Chief Ministers and Power Minister of Northern States in August had directed all the States to have an islanding plan implemented within the next six months. “The Enquiry Committee constituted by the Ministry to look into the detailed causes of these disturbances had also recommended that efforts should be made for formation of electrical islands in case of imminent grid disturbances. Accordingly, a study group was constituted by the Central Electricity Authority to design and review the islanding scheme for Delhi,” an official said.

The islanding scheme for Delhi has been envisaged to isolate power installations from the main grid when fluctuations occur and prevent a collapse. Once these installations are disconnected from the grid, they can be used to re-energise city’s power generation and also ensure supply to essential services like hospitals, rail services, water treatment plants and other critical services.

The scheme proposes that when grid disturbance is imminent, four islands of Delhi’s power system, capable of meeting essential loads will be created. Delhi State Load Dispatch Centre will have the overall responsibility of operation of the islanded system. Fall of frequency to 47.9 Hz will be taken as indication that grid disturbance is imminent and islanding will be initiated. On account of the peculiar network considerations of Delhi and limitation imposed by Rithala Combined Cycle Gas Turbine, the city will have four islands capable of meeting about 3400 MW of load during peak conditions.

The four islands that have been identified are: Dadri-Jajjhar-Pragati Island, Bawana CCGT Island, BTPS-Pragati Island and Rithala CCGT Island.

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