India suffers second major grid failure
World's biggest power outage leaves 684 million without power
India has suffered its second major power failure in the space of two days, with Monday’s grid failure followed yesterday by a larger, more widespread power outage. The Times of India has reported that 684 million residents of the country were left without power after three arterial power lines failed. Northern and eastern regions of the country were affected, with the grid collapse affecting industry, transport and households across large swathes of India.
The outage has been attributed to the major grid interconnect at Agra, where a relay station had tripped. Agra serves as a major interconnect between the northern, western and eastern grids. The three grids were reportedly carrying 66,000 MW when the failure occurred – 12 times Delhi’s power demand – and the tripping immediately shut down 14,000 MW of grid capacity.
There have been suggestions that states have been overdrawing power from the grid, with reports suggesting that Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab could be to blame. All states have denied the charge.
By 7.30pm on Tuesday the northern grid was carrying 80% of its usual load, whilst the eastern grid had been restored to 40% of its usual capacity.
India has been suffering a peak power shortage of around 10 – 11 percent, with many commentators suggesting that the undersupplied power network is having a negative effect on the country’s overall economy.
Major power projects are currently underway – under the impressive moniker of “Ultra Mega Power Plants” – that are expected to individually add as much as 4GW to the grid. However progress of these developments has so far been relatively slow.