CEA asks CERC to expedite tightening of power grids' frequency

Monday, 21 October 2013 05:10 Harikumar B
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CEAThe Central Electricity Authority has asked power sector regulator CERC to expedite the process of tightening the permissible frequency at which electricity can be transmitted through the grids in the country. The move comes against the backdrop of the government working on integrating Southern electricity Grid with rest of the country, which is expected to be complete in early 2014.

Frequency is a key indicator of proper functioning of the electricity grid and deviation from the permissible band could result in their collapse.

"It has been felt that before synchronisation of NEW grid and SR (Southern Regional) grid, it would be desirable to narrow down the operating frequency band so as to reduce requirement of balancing power," Central Electricity Authority (CEA) said in a recent communication to CERC.

CEA is the apex planning body for the power sector while Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) is the sectoral regulator.

As part of amending the existing Indian Electricity Grid Code, CERC has suggested tightening the frequency band to 49.95-50.05 Hertz. Currently, the same is at 49.7-50.2 Hertz. The proposal is also part of efforts to ensure strict discipline in utilisation of grids.

"... The Commission may like to expedite necessary orders for narrowing down the permissible frequency band," CEA has said.

Such a move would help in smooth integration and ensure secure operation of the combined grid, it added.

"If the amendments to the Grid Code could be notified by CERC by November 30, 2013, the utilities would get enough time to adjust their operating practices in line with new frequency band," the communication said.

Meanwhile, preparations, such as designing of suitable system protection schemes, are already underway for the integration of Southern grid with rest of the country.

There are five electricity grids -- Northern, Eastern, Western, North Eastern and Southern. Except for Southern grid, rest of them are inter-connected.

The idea of further tightening of grid frequency gained momentum especially after the unprecedented collapse of electricity grids last year that affected more than half of the country's population.

Overdrawal of electricity, beyond their allocated quota, by some states, was cited as among the reasons for failure of grids last year.

Source - Business Standard