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Home News Power Sector News CERC narrows operating grid frequency to 50.2 - 49.5 Hz to avoid overload

CERC narrows operating grid frequency to 50.2 - 49.5 Hz to avoid overload

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CERCTo protect the National Grid from overdrawing of power by states in peak summer, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has proposed to narrow the operating grid frequency from between 50.3 and 49.2 Hz to 50.2 and 49.5 Hz. The commission is eager to make the new regulations effective from April 1 , 2010, sources said. "If the proposal is implemented, discoms will find it tough to overdraw from grid to meet peak load — as they did in June last year. Unless discoms make their own arrangements, they will face huge problem in meeting the power demand," said a senior official of the electricity department.

Last year in June, BSES Rajdhani was slapped a penalty of Rs 1.68 crore by DERC for overdrawing from the Grid when the frequency was below the safety limit of 49.2 Hz. This year, unless more power is generated at plants like Bawana, Aravali, Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) or Dadri’s second unit, discoms will be looking at the Grid again to bridge the demand-supply gap. The peak demand is expected to touch 4800-5000MW in the capital this summer and so far only 400MW additional power is available to the discoms after the commissioning of the first unit of the Dadri plant recently.

CERC had earlier decided that the grid regulations need to be reviewed after every six months to keep a check on grid stability. The lowest frequency level — beyond which overdrawing is not allowed — had been raised last year also making it more expensive for states to draw below that limit. If overdrawing is allowed below the limit it could lead to grid collapse.

Officials said that since the last few years, the Grid has remained vulnerable as several northern states overdraw power to meet the demand. The officials said there will be a public hearing on the proposal to raise the frequency limit after which a final call will be taken. Entities overdrawing below this limit will be required to pay additional UI charge and will be penalized under the Electricity Act.

Senior officials said the new regulations would enforce Grid discipline and ensure that power distribution utilities went for planned procurement of electricity thereby creating an environment for investors to set up new power plants. "Presently many utilities postpone plans of setting up new power projects as they know that they can rely on the Grid to meet the demand," said an official.

In the past, Delhi has faced many interruptions in power supply when the Grid frequency dipped below the permissible limit. "Often, with delay in hydro power generation and peak summer load setting in, states become dependent on the Grid. This is dangerous as all the east, west and northern grids are integrated into one and if it collapses power supply in large parts of the country will be affected," said a source.

Source- Times of India

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