Picking Up

Smart grid project update

With the objective of providing universal access to quality power and reducing transmission and distribution losses, the formulation of a smart grid roadmap is a step in the right direction. The establishment of the National Smart Grid Mission (NSGM) and the participation of the central government and states will help in executing projects, devising mechanisms for cost recovery, and monitoring and evaluating projects.

So far, the Ministry of Power (MoP) has allocated 14 smart grid pilot projects to be implemented by different state-owned discoms. Nine of them have been awarded, two are still at different stages of being awarded, and three have been cancelled. These projects involve functionalities like advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), peak load management (PLM), outage management systems (OMS), power quality (PQ), distributed generation (DG), and supervisory control and data acquisition-data management systems (SCADA-DMS), among others.

A detailed account of some of these projects is given below…

Awarded projects

Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL), Assam: This project will cover the Guwahati distribution region and serve around 15,000 customers. Its different functionalities include AMI-residential (AMI-R), AMI-industrial (AMI-I), PLM, OMS, PQ and DG. It has been awarded to a consortium headed by Phoenix IT solutions at a cost of Rs 298.6 million, inclusive of forms management system (FMS) and training charges of Rs 14.7 million. The project’s total approved cost is Rs 299.4 million, of which the central government’s contribution is Rs 149.7 million. APDCL has already made the payments and corresponding claims have been forwarded to the MoP. Smart meter prototype testing for the project is under progress, and its consultant is Medhaj Techno Concept Private Limited. It is likely to be completed by October 2016.

Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (UHBVNL), Haryana: This project will cover the Panipat city subdivision and serve around 11,500 consumers. Its functionalities include AMI-I, AMI-R, SCADA-DMS, PLM and OMS. The project is being executed under a grant from the Japanese government through the New Energy and Industry Technology Development Organisation (NEDO), which has awarded it to a consortium of Japanese companies led by Fuji Electric. An MoU has been signed between NEDO, the Haryana government, UHBVNL as well as the central government.

Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited, Himachal Pradesh: This project will cover the Kala Amb industrial area and serve around 1,500 customers. Its functionalities include AMI-I, OMS, PLM and PQ. The project has been awarded to Alstom T&D India at a cost of Rs 249.9 million, inclusive of maintenance charges of Rs 64.2 million. Its total approved cost is Rs 194.5 million, of which the central government’s contribution is Rs 163 million. The first Rs 24.3 million instalment has been released. Under the project, 1,100 smart meters have been installed and data from 300 meters is being monitored.

Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation Limited, Karnataka: This project will cover an additional city area division in Mysore and serve around 21,824 consumers. Its functionalities include AMI-R, AMI-I, OMS, PLM and DG. A letter of intent (LoI) was issued to Enzen Global Solutions in March 2014 at a cost of Rs 325.6 million. The project’s total approved cost is Rs 325.9 million, of which the central government’s contribution is Rs 163 million. The MoP has released the first Rs 40.7 million instalment to the utility. Under this project, 450 smart meters, 41 display control units and 81 modems have been installed. The project consultant is Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (Powergrid).

Punjab State Power Corporation Limited, Punjab: This project will cover the Tech-11 sub-division and serve 2,734 customers, with its functionalities including AMI-R, AMI-R and PLM. It has been awarded to Kalkitech at a cost of Rs 81.7 million, inclusive of annual maintenance contract and training charges of Rs 13.2 million. The project’s total approved cost is Rs 101.1 million, of which the central government’s contribution is Rs 209.1 million. The consultant is Powergrid.

Telangana State Southern Power Distribution Company Limited, Telangana: This project will cover the Jeedimetla industrial area and serve around 11,904 customers, with its functionalities including AMI-R, AMI-I, PLM, OMS and PQ. An LoI has been issued to Electronics Corporation of India Limited for a contract price of Rs 358.6 million. The total approved cost is Rs 418.2 million, of which the central government’s contribution is Rs 209.1 million. The project consultant is the Central Power Research Institute.

Tripura State Electricity Corporation Limited, Tripura: This project will cover Electrical Division-I, Agartala, and serve 42,676 consumers, with its functionalities including AMI-R, AMI-I and PLM. It has been awarded to Wipro at a cost of Rs 808 million, inclusive of training and FMS charges of Rs 169.8 million. The project’s total approved cost is Rs 634.3 million, of which the central government’s contribution is Rs 317.2 million. Key performance indicator (KPI) data for it is still under preparation and the project consultant is Powergrid.

West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited, West Bengal: This project will cover Siliguri in Darjeeling and serve 5,275 consumers. Its functionalities include AMI-R, AMI-I and PLM. The project has been awarded to Chemtrols at a cost of Rs 81 million, inclusive of training and FMS charges of Rs 3.4 million. Its total approved cost is Rs 70.3 million, of which the central government’s contribution is Rs 35.2 million. The utility is preparing KPI data, and discussions are in progress with the state grid implementation agency. The project consultant is Powergrid.

Electricity Department, Government of Puducherry: This project will cover Division-I of Puducherry and serve 34,000 consumers. Its functionalities include AMI-R and AMI-I. Its total approved cost is Rs 461.1 million, of which the central government’s contribution is Rs 230.6 million. The project consultant is Powergrid and the project is expected to be awarded in January 2016.

Projects under award process Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited (UGVCL), Gujarat: This project will cover Naroda in the Sabarmati circle and the Deesa-II division in the Palanpur circle and serve 39,422 consumers. Its functionalities include AMI-R, AMI-I, OMS, PLM and PQ. However, UGVCL has stated that the scope of the pilot area is confined to Naroda and the matter has been put up for consideration. The project’s approved cost is Rs 827 million, of which the central government’s contribution is Rs 413.5 million. The project consultant is the Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute.

Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), Kerala: This project, which has AMI-I as its functionality, will cover select distribution areas across Kerala and serve around 25,078 consumers. Its technology and price bids were opened in March and June 2014 respectively, with very high L1 prices being quoted, much above the sanctioned cost. Hence, KSEB issued fresh notices inviting tenders in 2015. The approved project cost is Rs 275.8 million, of which the central government’s contribution is Rs 137.9 million.

Cancelled projects

Chhattisgarh State Power Distribution Company Limited, Chhattisgarh: The project was intended to cover Siltara and DDU Nagar in Raipur and serve 1,987 consumers. Its functionalities in-cluded AMI-I and PLM. Its approved cost was Rs 55.5 million, with a central government contribution of Rs 27.8 million. Powergrid was appointed the project consultant before the project was cancelled.

Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited, Maharashtra: The project intended to cover Baramati and serve 25,629 consumers, with functionalities including AMI-R, AMI-I and OMS. Its total approved cost was Rs 282.21 million, of which the central government’s contribution was Rs 141.1 million. However, it has since been cancelled.

Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (JVVNL), Rajasthan: This project is intended to cover the Sanganer subdivision and serve 34,752 consumers. Its functionalities included AMI-R, AMI-I, PLM and OMS. The total approved cost was Rs 333.8 million, which includes a central government contribution of Rs 166.9 million. The project consultant is Powergrid. The request for proposal and other documents have been prepared but and are yet to be released.

Future outlook

Smart grid pilot projects were initiated in India in 2012 but they have not progressed as expected. In 2012, 14 discoms had come forward for the smart grid network, and all of them were approved by the MoP. However, delays in the tendering process led to a slowdown in project execution. Different

stages such as the appointment of a consultant, the preparation of detailed project reports (DPRs), and variations in the approved cost and DPR-suggested cost caused the implementation of these projects to lag by almost four years.

However, a slight improvement has been seen over the past few years, and UGVCL’s and KSEB’s smart grid projects are likely to be awarded soon. The progress of projects under the NGSM will help bring together participants from all over the country to connect to a unified grid and ensure complete access to electricity.

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