9 Baje 9 Minute has had no impact on power grids across India, assures power minister RK Singh

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Electricity power substation in chennai india, where electrical power is generated, transmitted, and distributed to systems. Photographed during sunset with low lighting conditions.

Contrary to apprehensions, India’s power grid remained stable and secured berween 9 pm and 9.09 when citizens voluntarily responded to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to switch off the lights to express solidarity for fight agsinst COVID 19.

Power Minister RK Singh, who along with the ministry secretary and officers monitored power grid operations from the National Power Monitoring Centre, said there was huge response to PM’s call as power demand went down from 117 GW to 85.3 GW within a span of 4-5 minutes.

”This was handled very very well by engineers across all levels. Ramp was also done very smoothly as demand and supply is back to 110 GW,”he noted.Power industry sources said the frequency went up from 49.8 Hz to 50.4 Hz between 8.55 pm and 9.10 pm. India’s demand at 9.06 pm on Saturday was 120 GW but it was reduced to 90 GW at 9.06 pm today, a difference of 30 GW.

However, power system remained stable and normal as panned by POSOCO, Power Grid Corporation, regional and state load dispatch centres and state power utilities.Power Ministry had issued clarification yesterday that PM’s appeal was for voluntary and it is limited to switching off lights and not TV, Refrigerator, Computer at homes and public utilities. POSOCO and states had prepared action plan to keep the grid operations reliable, stable and secure.

While most states didn’t have too much trouble, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh did not manage their power grids well, according to data available.

On Friday, Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to switch off lights at 9 pm on Sunday might lead to failure of power grid.

News agency ANI reported, Nitin Raut in video message said, “If all lights are switched off at once it might lead to failure of grid. All our emergency services will fail and it might take a week’s time to restore power.”

The Minister urged people to light candles and lamps without switching off lights at their homes. “Putting off the lights together at the same time can lead to a huge difference in demand and supply. As there is lockdown, the demand has already decreased from 23,000 megawatt to 13,000 megawatt as factory units are not operating,” he said. “Switching off the lights at the time will lead to a blackout that is likely to affect emergency services. It would take us at least 12-16 hours to restore services. Electricity is a major tool during this COVID-19 crisis,” he said.

In a video message on Friday, the Prime Minister asked citizens to turn all lights off in their houses at 9 pm on Sunday (April 5) and to stand at their doors or windows with a candle, diya and torch for nine minutes in a battle against the COVID-19.In his address to the nation on March 24, the Prime Minister had announced a 21-day lockdown in the country to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, which has infected over 2,000 people in the country.

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