The Puducherry government has set in motion the process to install smart meters for domestic consumers under the Smart Grid project.
Chinese major Dong Fong will be implementing the project and the installation is expected to commence in October. The total cost of the project is ₹46.1 crore and the Central government will fund 50% of the cost. The project will initially cover 34,000 services in the Boulevard region and will subsequently be extended to remaining parts of the city in phases.
The Electricity Department has conducted a survey of the households and commercial properties for installation of meters in the boulevard region. The meters, certified by the Bureau of Indian Standards, are being manufactured in China and will arrive next month.
The project envisaged a consumer-utility interactive pilot smart grid which would cover smart metering and control through Advanced Metering Infrastructure and Peak Load Management in the Puducherry Urban Distribution Sub-division.
“The Power Grid Corporation of India, the nodal agency under the National Smart Grid Mission, volunteered to fund the utility portion and around 1,600 smart meters were installed in the Saram region. However, the pilot project failed to take off as the Power Grid did not get support from collaborators due to various reasons, including lack of market,” an official said.
The department decided to implement the project under the investor model.
“This envisages cost benefit to the company over a five-year period. The smart meters will also be equipped with radio frequency and would not entail any expense for the consumer,” Antony Vivek Anand, Assistant Engineer of Reforms Project Management Cell, told The Hindu.
The meters installed at the households would be integrated with the a Data Concentrated Unit and linked to a state-of-the-art control center installed at the Vengatta Nagar sub-station.
Officials at the control centre would have access to instant information on various factors related to power and help them manage the peak power demand more optimally.
The installation of the advanced meters would help consumers monitor real-time power consumption and know the exact billing amount. Since consumers could know the billing amount on a real time basis, they will be able to manage power usage better.
The department on its part would be able to monitor online energy usage patterns and detect malpractices, energy theft, thus enabling them to regulate the supply online. This would help the department save power. Besides, the advance metering system would help the department to bill power tariff and collect dues online, Mr. Anand added.
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