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Only lights to go off, not all other appliances: Power Ministry on PM's 9-minutes call

“Prime Minister has appealed to the people to voluntarily switch off their lights between 9 pm to 9:09 pm on the April 5. Some apprehensions have been expressed that this may cause instability in the grid and fluctuation in voltage which may harm the electrical appliances. These apprehensions are misplaced,” an official statement said.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Apr 04, 2020, 10.45 PM IST
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The power ministry also said that the appeal of Modi is to only switch off lights in their homes and there is no call to switch off street lights or appliances like computers, television sets, fans, refrigerators and air conditioners.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called the residents to switch off lights for nine minutes on April 5 while essential services like public utilities, municipal services, offices, police stations, manufacturing facilities will remain on causing no instability in the grid, the power ministry said on Saturday.

“Prime Minister has appealed to the people to voluntarily switch off their lights between 9 pm to 9:09 pm on the April 5. Some apprehensions have been expressed that this may cause instability in the grid and fluctuation in voltage which may harm the electrical appliances. These apprehensions are misplaced,” an official statement said.

The Indian electricity grid is robust and stable and adequate arrangements and protocols are in place to handle the variation in demand, it said.

The power ministry also said that the appeal of Modi is to only switch off lights in their homes and there is no call to switch off street lights or appliances like computers, television sets, fans, refrigerators and air conditioners.

“All local bodies have been advised to keep the street lights on for public safety,” the statement said.

The statement comes in the wake of concerns that sudden reduction and then increase in power demand may lead to tripping of the electricity grid. Congress MP and former power minister Jairam Ramesh tweeted, “As somebody who has been associated with the power sector for almost three decades including as minister, the call to go dark for 9 min at 9pm on the 5th can have deep impact on the grid and its stability. I sincerely hope this is being properly managed.”

Meanwhile, national and state load despatch centers and grid managing agency Power System Operation Corporation Ltd (Posoco) are closely monitoring grid safety. Reduction in power demand as a result of switching off lights at 9 pm for 9 minutes on Sunday will suddenly reduce power demand by 12,879 MW at a go, Posoco has said in an advisory sent to regional grid control units.

In the advisory Posoco said that unlike normal operation, this reduction in load of the order of 12-13 GW would happen for a short duration and pick up after nine minutes.

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