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Power Islands: Use in countering Cyber and Terror attacks on Electric Power System of India

Tulika Tandon

India is planning more power islands to counter cyber and terrorist threats that reach it. On October 12, 2020, Mumbai's metropolis and parts of Thane district were hit by a power outage. Many speculations were made regarding a cyber attack being the reason of this power outage. It was reported by a US based company Recorded Future, that some unknown Chinese entities were trying to mount  a cyber attack on the Indian electricity infrastructure that lead to this large scale power failure

So the Indian Government found a way to overcome this type of happening in the future by building various power islands in the area. Know what these power islands are below. 

Reason for Installation of Power Islands

Nuclear Power Corporation of India informed in 2019 that it had identified malware in 2019 in one of its computers whereas its plant systems were unaffected. 

Power grids all over the world are being digitised that leaves them vulnerable to attack. 

India has also discussed plans to create the power islanding systems in various cities to protect critical infrastructure from potential attacks on the electricity grid. 

Where are Power islands being installed?

The cities like Bengaluru which is also called as Silicon Valley of India are being assessed for the islanding system installation. Jamnagar which is the land of largest oil refineries in India is also one of the projected cities for the island system. 

The existing systems are located in Mumbai and Delhi. These are being revamped as well.  Take a look at the model of Power Island below. 

Power Islands: Details 

What is Islanding?

Islanding is the intentional isolation of a part of the power system done during an external widespread grid disturbance. The isolated grid is called the island. Such disturbances are the reason for a blackout. 

Therefore, the islanding scheme provides means to continue supplying power to the essential services in a  zone or an area. 

The power islands are also known as voltage islands. This concept arose to allow areas of a single chip to operate at voltage levels and frequencies independent from one another. 

Power islands have been used in some high-volume commercial chips, including numerous cell phone ICs, the Intel processors with XScale technology and the Crusoe processor from Transmeta.

Islanding systems feature generation capacity and can isolate automatically from the main grid in the event of an outage. 

New systems in new provinces would need proposal submission for setting up generation and storage capacities. 

What is a Grid?

Grid is an interconnected system of Generators and Transmission Lines. All the connected Generators run in synchronism. However, if a major disturbance occurs, the Transmission lines may trip which in turn may create a cascading effect. This cascading effect would lead to a blackout due to collapsing of the entire grid. 

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