Maharashtra govt sets up panel to suggest changes in Mumbai islanding system

Mumbai: Two months after the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) faced a major power failure, the Maharashtra Government on Friday has formed a nine member committee chaired by the principal secretary of energy department to make recommendations with regard to change in the Mumbai islanding system, increase the power availability considering rising demand in Mumbai and steps to avoid similar grid collapse and power tripping.

This was necessitated as the power purchase agreements to meet city’s demand ends in 2024 and the rising demand can be met by importing power by putting up additional transmission corridors and not merely by increasing generation locally. The committee is expected to submit report in three weeks to the state government.

Energy Department officer told Free Press Journal, “The failure of Mumbai islanding system during grid collapse on October 12 has been the trigger to revisit it. This is necessary following the change in ratio of generation and incoming power. The embedded generation may not meet the rising demand and the power purchase cost will be high in comparison with the drawal of power from outside. There is an ample power available at the competitive rate which can be evacuated in Mumbai by further strengthening the transmission corridors.’’ He said the islanding system, was introduced in 1981 and it was developed and executed by Tata Power which ensures uninterrupted power supply in the event of breakdown in national grid. The islanding system has an embedded power generation of 1,877 mw.

“This is the first time on October 12 we have seen steep drop in frequency and the islanding system failed. It will be difficult to maintain islanding unless a comprehensive study is done for its review. The committee will speak to experts and also the Western Region Power Centre before making recommendations,’’ said the officer.

This is the fourth committee to study Mumbai power scenario as already a seven member technical committee has submitted its report to the state government on November 5. The Central Electricity Authority Committee had also formed the committee whose report is awaited. In addition, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission had suo-moto established a three member committee to look into the causes of October 12 failure and make recommendations.

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