Today, the Indian electricity network is the world’s largest synchronized grid with a capacity of 363 GW. In July 2012, India suffered the world’s biggest power blackout due to a grid failure which impacted more than 620 million people across 22 states. A committee of international experts formed by the government to minimize the future possibility and impact of grid failure, recommended the implementation of a Wide Area Monitoring System (WAMS) solution across the country to measure the dynamic state of the grid and detect the onset of any unstable oscillation event.
Cut to 2018, India witnessed the commissioning of the first leg of the mega grid-stabilization project by handing over what will be the world’s largest WAMS solution to Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) for the Northern Grid (NR) in India. The project is part of the Unified Real Time Dynamic State Measurement (URTDSM) initiative that entails monitoring and controlling of the electricity supply across the country which will positively impact India’s total population. The project has been executed by GE T&D India.
This first stage will enable state-owned PGCIL to monitor power flow across 110 substations in the Northern Grid (NR) and respond to fluctuations within a fraction of a second. This will be critical in addressing power demand-supply imbalances and ensuring grid stability benefitting from the integration of renewable energy with the grid. The northern grid covers nine control centers, namely Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Chandigarh.
Commenting on the development, Sunil Wadhwa, MD, GE T&D India and Leader of GE Power’s Grid Solution business in South Asia said, “The commissioning of the WAMS technology of this scale and size is unparalleled in the history of power transmission in India. This will prove to be an important milestone in ensuring supply of uninterrupted, 24X7 high-quality power supply and integration of renewable energy with the country’s electrical grid.”
When fully commissioned, this new WAMS solution will be the world’s largest comprising 1,184 Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) and 34 control centers across India, 350 substations in the national grid. Part of GE Power’s Digital Energy portfolio, this solution obtains input data 25 times per second from all the PMUs installed (as compared to conventional SCADA, sampling once in nearly 5 seconds), with real time views on geographic displays, analytical applications and the capacity to store 500 TB of data. Moreover, it will also fully secure the grid from any cyber security threat, incorporating the latest firewall policies. The development and testing of the new software and substation devices was undertaken by GE teams from India, the UK and USA supported by PGCIL teams for a duration of two years.