Bengaluru: India on Sunday pulled off a feat, with many experts hailing the 9-pm-9-minute blackout as good as a miracle in terms of electricity grid management.

Power consumption load in India dropped around 85,300 Megawatts  (MW) as people switched off electric lights for 9 minutes at 9 pm on Sunday in the wake of PM Narendra Modi's call to show solidarity in the fight against coronavirus.

According to the power ministry, the demand in the grid went down from 1,17,300 MW at 8:49 pm to 85,300 MW across India till 9:09 pm on April, a reduction of 32,000 MW (32GW).

The power-demand started to rise once the blackout was over. Therefore, the voltage was kept stable at a frequency between 49.7 to 50.26 Hz, the ministry added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 3 had urged Indian citizens to switch off lights at their homes and light lamps, candles or turn on mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on Sunday as a gesture to 'challenge the darkness spread by the corona crisis'.

Also read: Lights out at 9pm: How will power stations manage drop and spike in electricity consumption?

Union power minister RK Singh congratulated all electricity-producing bodies. "The national grid operator POSOCO and the national, regional and state load despatch centres did a great job with support from all generators; NHPC, NEEPCO, THDC, SJVNL, BBMB, NTPC, all state gencos and IPPs, Transcos and Distribution companies and their officers and staff," he said.

The directive was clear, with no margin for error. The unprecedented ramp down and build up of electricity load had to be done successfully, within a small window of nine minutes, something that hasn’t been tried anywhere in the world on such a scale.

India’s hydropower stations played a key role as it provided the flexibility of a quick generation ramp up and down as they take the least time to switch on or off.