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Centre tries hi-tech initiative to monitor power stations

Anil Sasi

New Delhi , Dec. 8

A GIANT screen wired to hi-tech computers flashing real-time data, video-conferencing terminals and snazzy V-SAT connections. These are part of the Centre's hi-tech initiative to galvanise the power sector.

The Power Ministry has operationalised a National Power Monitoring Centre for monitoring real-time data on the functioning of all power stations across the country as also the transmission systems. The Monitoring Centre, which has been developed as a single-point information source for the performance of the country's power facilities, also has provisions for the Ministry officials to establish video conferencing with key staff across utilities in case of a fault or any reported underperformance.

The type of data generated at the Centre broadly comes under two categories — real-time information and offline data. While real-time operational data of generation and transmission system is being made available from all the five Regional Load Dispatch Centres (transmitted through VSAT communication to the Centre), offline data relating to the progress of generation capacity projects and the status of the implementation of various transmission and distribution projects can also be monitored.

For instance, the system shows if power stations have been shut down and why — if it is on account of forced outages (due to a technical fault) or under-planned maintenance schedules.

"The set-up would enable officials to do round-the-clock monitoring of the power systems across the country. In case of projects that are not generating due to planned maintenance, the Ministry can monitor if the utility is sticking to the maintenance schedule. In case of a forced outage at a project, the Monitoring Centre would enable Ministry officials to get in touch with concerned staff at key PSUs through the video conferencing facility to rectify the situation," a Government official involved in the exercise said.

Besides the generating stations, the Centre enables round-the-clock monitoring of the National Grid and facilitates immediate action for disaster management. The project cost of Rs 4.7 crore is being shared by all the Central power utilities. Officials from Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) have been brought in on deputation to man the system, officials said.

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