Mumbai: Power glitch trips city

On the first day of the workweek, more than 50 lakh homes and other establishments in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region reeled under power failure, following a major grid collapse. Trains, offices, online classes and examinations were all halted in their tracks as power tripped around 10.05am, to be restored in phases from 12.30pm onwards.

In a flash report, the Power System Operation Corporation and the Western Regional Load Dispatch Centre said, ‘‘The power failure occurred after the 400KV Kalwa-Padgha Line 2 tripped following a fault at 9.58am. Thereafter, at 10am, the 900MW Kalwa-Khargar line also tripped due to a conductor snap near Khargar. Subsequently, Khargar lines tripped at 10.05am and because of this Kalwa and Khargar stations were dead. The expected Mumbai load loss was 2,600MW.’’

Energy Minister Nitin Raut said, a technical glitch in Circuit 2 of the Kalwa-Padgha powerhouse led to a power cut in the regions between Thane and Mumbai.

According to the state energy department, there are four important 400 KV power lines supplying power to Mumbai. All these four lines come to the 400 KV Kalwa substation and from there, power is distributed to the MMR. Tata Power and Adani Electricity together supply 1,800 MW. Electricity failure started at 10am in the morning due to tripping of the MSETCL’s 400 KV transmission system at Kalwa, which supplies to Mumbai and adjoining areas.

Tata Power, in a statement said, “Mumbai’s islanding system that saves the city from major power outages was separated, however, it could not hold, as additional 900MW load dropped at 10:05 am.’’

On the other hand, Adani Electricity said, ‘‘However, Adani Electricity distribution system operated the islanding facility successfully and continued power supply to vital installations with the help of Dahanu thermal power station."

A former member of the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission, Jayant Deo, said reliability of a power system means a loss of one hour in 10 years. ‘‘Today’s failure was in the backdrop of more than double generation capacity compared to requirement. It is high time we go in for our own rooftop generation and storage. The feasibility of wireless transmission in the not-so-distant future will help us discard unreliable technical, administrative and regulatory systems,'' he noted.

Union Power Minister RK Singh, who was keeping an eye on the developments, announced that a Central team, comprising officials from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), would be sent to Mumbai to study the power breakdown episode in the city and assist the state government in finding solutions to such situations.

Earlier in the day, the minister said power supply in Mumbai had been restored substantially. Of the more than 2,000 MW requirement, about 1, 900 MW had been restored, with the remainder to be restored soon. ‘‘The national grid is fine, but the problem was in some parts of the state grid,' he added. The minister also said Central power sector officers have been rendering assistance for restoring full electricity supply in Mumbai.

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