Switching Off Lights on Sunday Night May Lead to Grid Collapse, India-Wide Blackout: Maha Energy Minister

Mumbai: Maharashtra energy minister Nitin Raut has expressed fear that switching off the lights simultaneously for nine minutes could lead to a multi-state grid collapse and result in blackout in the entire country.

In his statement issued on Friday night, Raut has appealed to the people to keep the necessary lights on at home while igniting lamps and candles on Sunday, as asked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to avoid this situation.

His statement came on the day Modi urged the people to switch off the lights at their homes and light up lamps, candles or mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on Sunday to display the country’s “collective resolve” to defeat coronavirus.

“Switching off the electricity at one time can reduce the electricity demand. If all lights are switched off at one time for nine minutes there is possibility of a grid collapse resulting in blackout in the entire country,” Raut said.

“Due to the lockdown, there is a change in the demand and supply situation. If there is a sudden drop or increase in the demand or supply in the grid, there could be disturbance in the grid frequency,” he said.

“Considering the possible situation, citizens and all the electricity generation, distribution and transmission companies should take required precautions,” he added.

At present, the power demand in the state has come down from 23,000 MW to 13,000 MW, the minister said.

Due to the lockdown, the industry load is zero. The 13,000 MW load is on essential services and residential, he said.

“If the electricity is switched off together, all power stations can go on high frequency and there is possibility of grid tripping. If all power stations are shut, there can be multi-state grid failure,” the minister added.

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