MERC Begins E-Hearing on Mumbai Power Outage Issue

MERC on October 21, 2020, began the hearing into last week’s power outage in Mumbai which lasted for up to 14 hours in some parts.

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) on October 21, 2020, began the hearing into last week’s power outage in Mumbai which lasted for up to 14 hours in some parts. A bench of senior member Mukesh Khullar and member (legal) I M Bohari heard all the stakeholders at the virtual hearing but did not pass any directions.

MERC, which had earlier sought statements from the stakeholders which involve power generation and Discoms, put up a few additional questions to the stakeholders and gave them time to reply. The Commission, which has expressed its worries and concerns over the outage, will go to the root cause of the problem and is expected to pass directions in a day or two after perusing all the statements on record, reports PTI.

Last Saturday, MERC had moved suo motu on the outage issue, seeking replies from all stakeholders and announced that the hearing will take place on Wednesday, October 22, 2020.

The Commission had said it has received a preliminary report about the grid failure from the Maharashtra State Load Dispatch Center (MSLDC), explaining the antecedent conditions, sequence of events, affected load and status of recovery of the system, among others.

In the preliminary report, MSLDC has stated that the detailed report will be submitted after thorough analysis of the occurrence and collection of exact data from all the stakeholders, MERC said, asking MSLDC to submit the same by Monday evening.

It also got preliminary reports from Tata Power Company – Generation and Adani Electricity Mumbai – Distribution, but other transmission licensees and distribution licensees and users have not submitted the details.

In the notice announcing the hearing, MERC had said items for discussion will be the reasons for occurrence of the outage, if standard protocol was followed to restore the grid and reasons for delay in restoring, response of all the stakeholders, if the islanding system operated as envisaged, priority accorded while restoring and also ways to prevent a re-occurrence of the same.

The notice was sent to state-run electricity distribution and transmission companies, Tata Power, Adani Electricity Mumbai, BEST and railways officials.

At present, the state-run MSETCL and Tata Power are in a blame game over what led to the power outage.

MSETCL says the islanding system could not be triggered because Tata’s generation started very late, while Tata blames a cascading tripping of circuits for the fault.

The commission is understood to have told all stakeholders to not indulge in any mudslinging and to focus efforts to ensure that there is no such occurrence.

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