Non-compliance with norms behind power grid failures: CERC

Non-compliance with norms behind power grid failures: CERC New Delhi: More than three months after the country witnessed one of the worst electricity grid failures, sectoral regulator CERC has said non-compliance with norms by various stakeholders was a major reason for the collapse.

To strengthen the regulatory mechanism as well as avert similar situations in the future, CERC has also sought explanations from 11 entities including Power Grid Corp, National Load Despatch Centre and NTPC.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC)'s latest move follows an analysis of the detailed report on grid failures submitted by Power System Operation Corporation Ltd (POSOCO).

Considered one of the world's worst ever power crisis, the collapse of Northern, Eastern and North Eastern grids on July 30 and 31, had impacted over half of India's population.

The Commission has said prima facie the grid failures were due to various parties not strictly complying with regulations.

"In view of the above findings in the report submitted by POSOCO, the Commission is prima facie of the view that relevant regulations of the Commission namely, CERC (Indian Electricity Grid Code) Regulations, 2010 as amended from time to time and CERC (Measures to relieve congestion in real time operation) Regulations, 2009 have not been strictly complied with by various agencies," it has said.

The regulator, in an order on November 16, has directed 11 entities to submit their responses to the findings in the POSOCO report by November 23. The next hearing on the suo-motu petition is scheduled for November 27.

According to the order, these entities have to give responses with particular reference to their failure to take necessary actions that were expected of them as per the regulations.

"We intend to hear the respondents on their views on the factors which precipitated the grid failures and the remedial measures which need to be taken to obviate recurrence of such instances in future," it said.

Responses have been sought from National Load Despatch Centre, four regional load despatch centres -- Northern, Western, Eastern and North Eastern --, four regional power committees -- Northern, Western, Eastern and North Eastern --, Power Grid Corp and NTPC.

On August 1, the regulator had sought a detailed report on the grid failures from Power Grid Corp CMD and POSOCO Chief Executive Officer. The same was submitted on August 8.

As per the POSOCO report, due to high load and failure of
monsoon, Northern Region was drawing a large quantum of power from neighbouring Western and Eastern Grids whereas due to rains in Western Region demand was less and it was under-drawing.

"This situation led to a much skewed load generation balance among the regions. A large quantum of power was flowing from the Western Grid to the Northern Grid directly as well as through the Eastern Grid and the system was under stress," the report had said.

POSOCO, a subsidiary of Power Grid, controls the National Load Despatch Centre that monitors the country's electricity grid system.

The Commission observed the grid failures plunged several states into darkness and to fend for themselves without electricity for hours together and affected the communication, essential services, industry, economy and the life of the people in a large way.

PTI