COVID-19 & Electric Grid: Utility’s First Response Against the Pandemic

Keeping in mind the IEEE theme: Advancing Humanity for Technology, IEEE BUET Student Branch with IEEE Power & Energy Society BUET Student Branch Chapter in association with IEEE Bangladesh Section, IEEE BDS HAC & IEEE SIGHT FLASH hosted a webinar titled “COVID-19 & Electric Grid: Utility’s First Response against the Pandemic”. The program was scheduled at 3 PM (GMT+6), 28 May 2020 as an online seminar, using the Zoom Platform. The lecture was attended by 75 participants including 49 IEEE members.

Date: 28 May 2020

Time: 03:00 PM – 04:30 PM (GMT+6)

Venue: Online Platform (Zoom)

Number of Participants: 75

Percentage of IEEE Members among participants: 65.33%

Percentage of IEEE PES Members among participants: 76.5%

Lecture Title: COVID-19 & Electric Grid Utility’s First Response Against the Pandemic

Speaker Name: Dr. Sandip Chanda, Associate Professor & Head, Department of Electrical Engineering, Ghani Khan Chowdhury Institute of Engineering & Technology, West Bengal, India.

Keeping in mind the IEEE theme: Advancing Humanity for Technology, IEEE BUET Student Branch with IEEE Power & Energy Society BUET Student Branch Chapter in association with IEEE Bangladesh Section, IEEE BDS HAC & IEEE SIGHT FLASH hosted a webinar titled “COVID-19 & Electric Grid: Utility’s First Response against the Pandemic”. The program was scheduled at 3 PM (GMT+6), 28 May 2020 as an online seminar, using the Zoom Platform. The lecture was attended by 75 participants including 49 IEEE members.

Professor Dr. Celia Shahnaz, welcomed everyone and initiated the session by introducing the distinguished lecturer for the day, Dr. Sandip Chanda, Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Ghani Khan Choudhury institute of Engineering and Technology. At 3 PM, Dr. Sandip Chanda started his talk.

In this webinar, Dr. Sandip Chanda mentioned how COVID-19 is affecting the average demand and generation of power in different countries specially in India. During March, April and May Maximum demand for electricity has drastically changed. He also suggested some techniques through which these demand fluctuations can be handled. He suggested the use of a proper demand response program to shift the load to peak periods, generation rescheduling within a short span of time and promotions of renewable energy with battery banks. He also mentioned statistical data that shows the decrease of average generation from coal based energy sources is about 25%. So coal prices may increase due to less excavation hence proper planning is required after lock down. Solutions suggested here included recovery of industry at the earliest, extra emphasis on small capacity addition first, promotion of deregulation in distribution in small capacity and promotion of renewable energy sources.

In the webinar, it was shown that the demand for high price renewable energy, such as Solar power increased in India, decreasing the net thermal load. And the decrease in power demand caused a decrease in the frequency/speed, and hence an inertia problem. For solving Inertia problems, steps like using AFC devices, increasing tie lines and back-to-back HVDC links, increasing local generation was suggested. The webinar further discussed the set-backs noticed for planned reforms such as  real time operations implementations, Solar and wind projects implementation, 5 years planned projects like commissioning longer HVDC transmission lines, as the lack of revenue and manpower hinders the reform . Finally, the change in the future of the Power system, based on public health operation planning was discussed, along with the significance of the inter connectivity of the power networks. 

At about 4 PM, Dr. Sandip Chanda finished his presentation. A Q&A session followed soon afterwards where participants asked a lot of meaningful questions on the matter and the speaker answered their questions. The webinar ended with an online group photo on Zoom platform and a note of thanks by Dr. Celia Shahnaz.