Centre is mulling a plan to create power islanding systems in many cities to counter potential attacks on critical infrastructure such as the electricity grid, power minister Raj Kumar Singh said. The plan to create power islands comes after India's financial capital Mumbai reported a major outage last year, leading to widespread speculations about a cyber attack.
Cities like India's Silicon Valley Bengaluru and Gujarat's Jamnagar, which has two of India's largest oil refineries are being assessed for this setup, Singh told the Parliament on Thursday. He added that existing systems in New Delhi and Mumbai are also being refurbished.
Not only do islanding systems have future generation capacity, but they can also isolate from the main grid automatically in case of a power outage. Provinces will have to submit proposals for setting up the required generation and storage capacities, the Union minister said in his written comments.
The system will be connected to the main network and can isolate automatically in case of an outage. The microgrids will run on a mix of battery and rooftop solar power, the power minister added.
Meanwhile, the plan has been doubted in some quarters.
Reji Pillai, president of the India Smart Grid Forum called creating power islands "a very 20th-century idea" and said Bengaluru does not have enough space to set up new generation plants.
Pillai recommended setting up smart microgrids for isolating smaller areas (commercial and industrial complexes, hospitals, shopping malls, defense units, railway stations, and airports) instead of going for power islands.
Edited by Mehak Agarwal; with agency inputs
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