UP POWER Minister Shrikant Sharma and officials have said that the electricity grid will not be affected if people switch off lights for nine minutes at 9 pm on Sunday, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to light candles during a staged blackout to express solidarity amid the ongoing nationwide lockdown to contain the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Everything has been planned and we have made all arrangements for the appeal by the PM to switch off lights,” Sharma said on Saturday. “Everything will be running, except the lights [at homes], so there will not be any problem. Emergency services and street lights will run and so will other appliances. Our plants will be at minimum generation. Our grids are very strong and officials are working to ensure no issue is faced.”
Power department officials urged people to switch off only lights, and not other electrical appliances.
This appeal came a day after the State Load Dispatch Centre wrote to top officials of Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL), and the UP Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited (UPRVUNL), expressing concern about the load reduction that will occur.
“It is estimated that in case of switching off lighting load in UP (while the whole country will also be doing the same activity), approximately 3,000 MW sharp load reduction phenomenon may occur in the state in a very little duration of time,” it said, adding: “This may cause a “high voltage surge.”
The dispatch centre advised that rectors in UP Power Grid must be kept in service during the period, and “all capacitor banks must be kept out of service”.
However, UPPCL Chairperson Arvind Kumar said there was no need to panic.
“Only the lights will be switched off, not the other appliances. So, there should not be any problem at all,” he told The Sunday Express.
“The panic is unnecessary. We have a robust grid and there won’t be any major fluctuation if all lights are switched off because other appliances such as fans, refrigerators, etc will continue to run. As a precaution, we have instructed officials to be on guard.”
In a letter, the power ministry’s Director (Operations) RK Singh instructed officials in his department to be prepared with a charged mobile phone from 8 pm to 10 pm, and follow rules and restrictions related to COVID-19.
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