Ahmedabad smart grid project gets Centre’s boost

Ahmedabad smart grid project gets Centres boost

The much awaited smart grid in the city has now got a boost from central government after it raised its share in the project by more than 50%. Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Pvt Ltd (UGVCL) rolled out India's first modernized electric grid, or the smart grid system in Naroda October last year.

When the project was announced, it was estimated to cost Rs 48.79 crore and was later upgraded to Rs 82.70 crore. Simultaneously, the central government too increased its share from Rs 24.79 crore to Rs 41.35 crore. "According to the rules, Centre was to give either 50% of the project cost or Rs 25 crore, whichever was lesser. But with the increase in the project cost and looking at its potential, Centre amended rules and increased its share," said senior official of UGVCL.

The project that began in early 2014 got delayed due to change in government and is now awaiting UGVCL board's approval for implementation.

After UGVCL floated tender for proof of concept, five companies including Reliance, Wipro, Crompton, L&T and Tapesh Energy showed interest. "Each company installed 300 electric meters embedded with sim cards in Naroda last year and studied the consumer behavior. All the companies successfully completed testing and submitted their consistency report," added a senior UGVCL official.

The UGVCL board will soon meet to decide which company will get the project. According to sources, one company with the highest bid has been finalized but since the smart grid is technology based, the project may be awarded to two companies.

In smart grid system, consumers will be able to pick a suitable plan for electricity consumption like they do in cellphones. According to experts, in future like mobile phone or internet people can choose electricity plans based on their usage. With interactive meters, consumers can check their electricity consumption like in postpaid mobiles

The smart grid will work on the 'time of day' concept, based on which tariffs will be set. For example if the demand is at peak during 7pm to 11pm, the tariffs will be higher for that period.
UGVCL will have access to the data of the company and hence will use it to fix the tariffs based on time. The project might be rolled out in next three months.

"Once we begin to get the data from the companies, we will submit a proposal for tariffs based on the data," added senior official. The smart grid project is being implemented in 14 cities in 14 states with Ahmedabad leading.

Source: The Times of India

Smart Grid Bulletin March 2019

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