Gujarat successfully handled a drop of 1,600MW in power demand as households switched off lights following the Prime Minister’s call for ‘lights out’ on Sunday night. This assumes importance because a slight deviation in frequency — a balancing parameter between electricity generation and demand — could possibly lead to a power grid failure.
The electricity demand was 8,407MW by 8.54pm on Sunday. As people started switching off lights, the demand plummeted to 6,800MW till 9.09pm resulting in a drop of 1,607MW, data available with the State Load Dispatch Centre (SLDC) shows.
“There was seamless coordination between all distribution companies, public and private, state and western region load dispatch centres, GETCO as well as state and central power ministries and their officials and employees,” said Gujarat’s energy minister Saurabh Patel.
Power cannot be stored and whatever is generated must be consumed at the same time. Given this constraint, grid discipline becomes important and grid frequency has to be maintained between 49.9 Hertz and 50.05 Hertz. If the frequency goes above or falls below this specific level, the power grid could fail.
Since the grid is interconnected to several regions, the failure to manage the grid by one state affects other states as well. There are six states in India’s western grid including Gujarat.