The Mysuru smart grid project, being implemented by the Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation (CESC), is one of the 14 pilot projects being implemented with financial support from the Ministry of Power (MoP). The project covers around 10 per cent of all
consumers in Mysuru and has modern smart grid features such as energy storage, smart metering and power quality monitoring systems. The project is now at the final stages of completion.
A look at the unique features of the project, the proposed benefits and the challenges in its execution…
The project involves an investment of Rs 326.5 million, including Rs 162.8 million from the MoP. It has an expected payback period of five years. CESC, Mysuru, currently serves 2.6 million consumers, spread over 27,858 square km, across five districts of Karnataka. The smart grid project area – the V.V. Mohalla division – has 24,532 consumers. This smart grid project has a good customer mix, including the residential, commercial, industrial, street lighting, water utility (municipal), agricultural as well as high tension consumer segments. The consultant for the project is Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (Powergrid) and the implementing agency is Enzen Global Solutions Private Limited.
Features and key benefits
The key smart grid functionalities adopted by the project are advanced metering infrastructure for both residential and commercial consumers (that is, 22,850 smart meters); outage management through outage management systems (OMS), supervisory control and data acquisition, and distribution management system functions; fault monitoring and management; feeder monitoring; demand response through peak load management (PLM); condition monitoring of equipment; integration of renewables through net metering; energy audit and analytics; portals for consumer, employee and demand response; smart grid control centre and data centre; and analytics, visualisation, load modelling as well as load forecasting. Apart from these, about 550 distribution transformers are covered for health and power quality monitoring. Over 80 per cent of the smart meters have been installed so far and linked to the smart grid control centre deployed under the project. Various smart grid technology solutions such as transformer condition monitoring, feeder monitoring, OMS, PLM and demand response systems have been deployed.
The Mysuru smart grid project has some unique elements. For instance, its smart grid solutions support a “brownout” instead of a blackout during supply shortages. This is done using the load curtailment feature of the meters, which helps distribute the available power in a moderate quantity to all consumers during a supply shortage, rather than causing a total blackout for a section of consumers. Another key feature is the power quality monitoring system, which identifies the influx of harmonic distortion or noise in the power network due to certain types of loads, allowing the utility to take up the issue with consumers polluting the electricity network. Further, the discom is able to carry out real-time monitoring of the network, from the substation through the feeders to the transformers and thereon to individual consumer premises. This enables engineers to identify faulty sections or transformers immediately and take corrective action quickly, thereby increasing the availability of power, and improving asset life and reliability of supply. This also helps the utility in balancing loads on each phase of the transformer.
Energy audit at the transformer level helps the utility account for the energy dispensed from transformers to the consumers connected, thereby ensuring that leakages are addressed and losses reduced. As all the meters are of the net metering type, they are suitable for integrating the renewable energy being injected from sources like rooftop solar panels on consumer premises.
While the project is successfully nearing completion, it has not been without challenges during the design and implementation phases. Many of the issues were overcome with support from Powergrid. Besides, several workshops were jointly conducted by CESC, Mysuru, and Enzen Global Solutions Private Limited to establish a common understanding of relevant smart grid functionalities and identify beneficial cases. These workshops were helpful for arriving at a fully functional design and engineering solutions for the project. When the project goes live, expectedly by mid-2017, the residents of Mysuru will be able to access more reliable and better quality power. The utility serving the area will also benefit from reduced losses and decreased downtime due to the functionalities adopted.