State Commission to Conduct Hearing on Mumbai Power Outage on Oct 21

MERC will be making a suo motu hearing on the Mumbai power outage on October 21, 2020. The reasons for the rare citywide power outage will be discussed.

Mumbai Outage Hearing

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has said that it will be making a suo motu hearing on the Mumbai power outage on October 21, 2020. The rare citywide power outage that paralysed Mumbai on October 12, 2020, halting suburban train services, trapping people in lifts, and disrupting work-from-home adopted by millions during the ongoing pandemic, will be discussed during the e-hearing.

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

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

MERC has also got the preliminary reports from Tata Power Company – Generation, and Adani Electricity Mumbai – Distribution, but other transmission licensees, distribution licensees, and users are yet to submit the details.

At the hearing, the commission plans to discuss reasons for the occurrence of the outage, if the standard protocol was followed to restore the grid and reasons for the 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 reoccurrence of the same, as per the notice.

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

Multiple local reports state that at present, state-run MSETCL and private sector Tata Power are in a blame game over what led to the major power outage which took over 14 hours to resolve. MSETCL said that the islanding system could not be triggered because Tata’s generation started very late, while Tata blames the cascading tripping of circuits for the fault.

Recently, Adani Transmission has also vowed to execute a transmission line and substation project at suburban Vikhroli which will enhance the power supply by 1,000 MW (1 GW) to Mumbai, by the end of next year, as per the mandated deadline for it. Following last week’s power outage, state CM Uddhav Thackeray had asked all stakeholders in a review meeting to expedite the project by adhering to the timelines.

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