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Power Grid Corp developing grid security system

According to reports, state-run Power Grid Corp is developing an advanced grid security system, worth Rs 1,300 crore, as part of efforts to boost the country’s electricity transmission network and stave off possible cyber attacks on the power systems.

The proposed security system is part of larger measures being initiated by the Power Ministry to prevent recurrence of events like last year’s massive collapse of grids that affected more than half of country’s total population.

According to a Power Ministry document, central transmission utility Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) is in the process of “developing a Grid Security Expert System (GSES) at an estimated cost of Rs 1,300 crore”.

The project involves laying of optical fibre network costing about Rs 1,100 crore for reliable communication and control of under-frequency and load shedding, among others.

Already, Power Grid – which manages electricity grids across the country – has a dedicated independent communication network.

The grid security expert system would help in having a proper communication/IT network utilising dedicated fibres to avoid any cyber attack on the power system.

Power Grid’s responsibility includes planning, co-ordination and control over inter-state transmission system as well as the operation of national and regional grids.

Following the worst ever grid failures witnessed in the country in 2012, the Power Ministry has initiated various steps including setting up of National Power Committee (NPC) to ensure better management of grid system.

The enquiry committee, which looked into the grid collapses on July 30 and 31, 2012, had last year suggested a raft of measures to strengthen and protect the system from such incidents in the future.

The Northern grid had tripped on July 30 last year, resulting in massive outages. The very next day, Northern, Eastern and North Eastern grids failed too.

As per the committee report, various factors including overdrawal of electricity by some of the Northern Region utilities and multiple outages of transmission lines had led to the collapse of power grids.

Meanwhile, the government has set up an 18-member National Power Committee (NPC) headed by chairperson of the Central Electricity Authority, the apex planning body for the power sector.

The new panel would work towards evolving a common approach to issues related to reliability and security of the power grid system.

Work is also in progress to synchronise the Southern grid with the other four grids.

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