New Delhi, Aug. 29: Given India’s enviable experience with blackouts, maybe there’s business to be done by way of consultancy to First World countries with Third World power networks.
Just a fortnight after the US suffered its worst blackout that hit a large swathe of cities in northern US and Canada, electricity grid controllers from America have come to India to learn a few lessons on how to deal with such a crisis. A three-member team from the US’ Federal Electric Regulatory Commission today met officials from the PowerGrid Corporation in Delhi to get some tips about how to restore a “collapsed” electricity network. Don’t be surprised if a team from the UK lands up shortly after last evening’s London blackout.
PowerGrid, which manages the long-distance power transmission network, said after the meeting the US system does not have “co-ordinated planning” to handle a major power failure. The classroom coaching was held at PowerGrid’s northern regional load despatch centre. “We apprised the commission about our operational procedures and planning mechanism,” Bhanu Bhusan, the technical chief of PowerGrid, said. After the August 14 blackout, US grid officials are planning to tighten rules governing transmission companies, most of which are in private hands.
India has had a spotted record of grid collapses leading to blackouts in large parts. There were three regional grid failures in the past four years. The US record has been quite clean and last fortnight’s outage was only the second since 1977. But with blackouts becoming common of late in the West, there’s no reason why Indian advice should be given for free. After all, western power companies don’t do any charity when they come here. Remember Enron'