Smart grid development is essential for distribution systems to move to the next level of modernisation and digitisation. Several pilot projects are under implementation in the country with partial grant from the Ministry of Power (MoP) as well as under the National Smart Grid Mission (NSGM). The functionalities being tested in these pilots include advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), outage management system (OMS), peak load management (PLM), power quality management (PQM), distributed generation and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA).
An update on the various smart grid projects under implementation…
MoP-sanctioned pilot projects
The pilot projects sanctioned by the MoP are being implemented across Assam, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Punjab, Telangana, Tripura, Puducherry, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, at a total cost of Rs 4.8 billion (including Rs 1.8 billion funding support). These include a smart city demonstration project at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur campus and the Smart Grid Knowledge Centre being developed by Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (Powergrid) in Manesar, Haryana. All projects are being partially funded by the MoP, except the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitaran Nigam Limited (UHBVNL) project, which was funded by the Japan-based New Energy and Industry Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
So far, three projects by UHBVNL, HPSEB Limited and Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Company (CESC) as well as IIT Kanpur’s smart city R&D platform have been completed, while the others are at various stages of implementation.
In January 2018, UHBVNL completed and inaugurated its smart grid technology demonstration project in Panipat covering 11,000 consumers. HPSEB’s project in the Kala Amb Industrial Area, covering 1,554 consumers, has also been completed. Meanwhile, CESC’s project, covering over 21,824 consumers in Mysore, was completed in April 2018. In addition, the smart city R&D platform at IIT Kanpur has been successfully completed. The project includes a smart city prototype and a platform for testing of smart distribution systems.
Projects under implementation
Assam Power Distribution Company Limited’s (APDCL) project in Paltan Bazaar covering 15,938 consumers is at an advanced stage. Under the project, the discom has installed over 13,484 smart meters along with control centre hardware as of April 2018. The Tripura State Electricity Corporation Limited (TSECL) project in Agartala, covering the largest consumer base of 42,676, has also made significant progress. Over 30,000 meters have been installed and are communicating with the servers.
In the Puducherry Electricity Department’s (PED) project, installation of smart meters is under way. Telangana State Southern Power Distribution Company Limited’s (TSSPDCL) pilot project in the Jeedimetla Industrial Area, covering about 11,904 consumers, is currently in the inspection and developmental testing phase. For Uttar Gujarat Vitaran Company Limited’s (UGVCL) pilot project in Sabarmati, which is expected to cover 39,422 consumers, 5,000 meters have been installed so far. Besides, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited’s (PSPCL) project at SAS Nagar is at the tendering stage. Meanwhile, West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited’s (WBSEDCL) project at Siliguri is expected to be completed by June 2018.
Powergrid’s Smart Grid Knowledge Centre at Manesar is being entirely funded by the MoP. The Rs 98 million project will comprise state-of-the-art laboratories for power system analysis, smart grid control and automation, advanced equipment diagnostics, etc. Under the project, a contract has been awarded for home energy management systems. Further, AMI and OMS have been installed while microgrids are expected to be commissioned by March 2018. In addition, Ajmer Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited has implemented a smart grid pilot project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development, under which smart meters have been installed for 1,000 consumers in Ajmer.
Progress under the NSGM
Projects under the NSGM are under implementation in Sub-division 5 (Chandigarh), Congress Nagar (Maharashtra) and Amravati (Maharashtra) at a cumulative investment of Rs 2.6 billion, of which 30 per cent will come from the government. At present, bids are being awarded under most of the projects for various components such as AMI, SCADA, distributed generation, electric vehicles and cybersecurity.
The way forward
The central government is laying emphasis on smart metering, smart cities and e-mobility initiatives to enable a smooth transition to smart grids. These initiatives, along with the implementation of smart grid pilot projects, are expected to drive smart grid development in the country.