How is the power system to be managed during lights off on April 5, 2020?

On April 3, 2020, PM Modi addressed India to switch off their lights at 9 PM for nine minutes and light lamps or candle. This is being done to show the united strength of the country against the virus.

Concerns on Power System during Lights Off

When everyone switches off the light at 9 PM, there is to be a dip in consumption of power on the day. This will impact the power plants greatly. The impact will affect the frequency of the power supplied to the other electric equipment such as fridge, A/C, compressors, washing machines, etc that are to remain ON.

Action Plan

The Electricity authorities have studied the power consumption patterns in the states. They have concluded that the dip and surge in power during light off is to be in the order of 12 to 14 GW. This is 10% of the total electricity consumed in the country.

In order to manage the surge and dip, the power authorities have come up with an action-plan. In all the power plants including hydro, nuclear, solar, coal, gas or wind, it is not possible to suddenly increase or decrease the loads being handled by them.

Before lights off, the coal and gas-powered plants are to be brought down to 60% of their capacity gradually at 08:55 PM. During this time, the hydro plants are to be powered up to take the short fall. At 08:57 PM, both the power plants will be powered down. During the lights out, the hydro plants are to be increased to 10% of their maximum power. At 9:09 PM, the hydro plants are to run at full capacity. After stabilization, all the coal-based power plants will be brought back to normal.

The solar, nuclear and wind-based power plants are out of control and hence are not to be disturbed.

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