National grid operator POSOCO (Power System Operation Corporation) has raised a red flag regarding overdrawing of electricity by five northern states, a practice that had precipitated the world’s largest blackout in history by affecting half of India’s population for almost 48 hours in 2012.
In separate letters to UP, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir, POSOCO has warned that in case a power station trips amid their overdrawal, the grid could collapse since “adequate spinning reserves”, or spare generation capacity, was not always available in the region.
Noting that the states also did not have any spare generation capacity, the grid operator advised them to buy additional power from the exchanges or tying up generation capacity available elsewhere to meet peak demand.
Punjab is the biggest violator of grid discipline, overdrawing or load-shedding – resorting to blackout – between 150 and 800 MW (megawatt). Haryana’s violations range between 475-675 MW, Rajasthan between 300 and 500 MW and UP 380 MW. J&K is the lowest at 150-200 MW.
According to rules, states are supposed to draw the quantity of power they book from the grid in advance. States are penalised by way of additional transmission charges for overdrawal within a threshold, beyond which the regional load dispatch centres are free to snap supply to maintain grid stability.