The power ministry Wednesday announced an 'Islanding Scheme' which will insulate essential services in various parts of the national capital from a severe power breakdown during a grid failure. The scheme would become operational in January 2013.

Announcing the scheme, Power Minister M. Veerappa Moily said: “The islanding scheme for Delhi was presented by Delhi Transco Limited early hours today (Wednesday). In Kolkata, Mumbai and some other states, the islanding scheme is already operational. But it is not a system which is foolproof. This (Delhi proposal) can be a model for other states. Within three months, the entire grid should be operational in Delhi.”

After two successive northern grid failures that blacked out almost all of north India July 30 and 31, the ministry convened a meeting with state governments, including Delhi, on power disruption. “The ministry requested the state governments to come out with a dynamic scheme in collaboration with the power ministry and Central Electricity Authority (CEA),” Moily said.

The government aims to fix the power outages in Delhi (image credit: The Hindu)

The government aims to fix the power outages in Delhi (image credit: The Hindu)

About the two grid failures, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said: “It was a wake up call for all of us. We cannot have such suffering from any kind of power outage. I hope this is a historical step and the best system available. There will be continuous upgradation.”

Dikshit also stated that Delhi is not just a state but it is the capital of the country, which is one of the reasons why the Delhi government responded to quickly to the crises. “The islanding scheme for Delhi would be completed in a much shorter time than we expected. Earlier, we thought we would complete it by next year May, but it is coming into operations by January,” she said.

The power minister also pointed out that the total power requirement of Delhi and the National Capital Territory (NCT) is 5,500 MW. “The total requirement for Delhi and NCT is 5,500 MW and the four island's capacity is 3,400 MW. The estimated cost for the islanding is Rs.25 crore, and its cost differs from state to state,” Moily said. He added that the islanding scheme will be a unique and ideal scheme which will be reviewed every year.

The isolation mechanism would disconnect Delhi from the national grid during power disturbances. After the isolation, around 930 MW of demand from Delhi's emergency power loads such as Delhi Metro, water treatment plant, the railways and hospitals would also be addressed. Delhi has created four islands to implement the scheme: Dadri-Jajjhar-Pragati, Bawana CCGT (Combined Cycle Gas Turbine), Badarpur Thermal Power Station (BTPS)-Pragati, and Rithala CCGT. These units together would generate about 4,200 MW and would be capable of meeting about 3,400 MW of electricity demand during peak hours.

Answering questions on the increased power tariff, Dikshit said: “The question on power tariff should be addressed to DERC (Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission). They make the tariff.”She added: “It is not a phenomena only for Delhi. The basic power prices are high all over (the country).”


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