First smartgrid project on pilot basis

Puducherry: A smart grid project recommended by the Power Ministry`s India Smart Grid Task force will come up on a pilot basis in the union territory, reportedly the first in the country. A Memorandum of Understanding to introduce the innovative project here was inked in the presence of Chief Minister N Rangasamy here today between the Department of Electricity and Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL).

An official release said the Ministry proposed to set up such smart grid projects in eight cities across India and that Puducherry is the first to implement it on an experimental basis. The project involves an investment of Rs 77 crore,of which Rs 25 crore would be borne by the Ministry and the balance by the state government concerned. In Puducherry,the entire share of Rs 52 crore would be borne by PGCIL, a collaborator in the implementation of the project here.

The main highlights of the project are installation of `advance metering infrastructure with a Central Data Control unit, which would help consumers and the department. The consumer could at any point of time know the exact billing amount and appropriately manage power usage, the release said.

The Electricity Department would be able to monitor online energy usage patterns and trace malpractices and energy theft, besides enabling it connect or disconnect power supply online. The system can also assist the department bill power tariff online, collect dues and help reduce distribution and line transmission losses from 22.6 percent to 8.86 per cent.