Bescom ropes in US firm for smart grid project

Improved system to enable efficient power management

The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) has begun work on its Rs 87-crore smart grid project in the City, aimed at improving and ensuring the efficient use of power by consumers.

The new grid will help consumers plan their consumption and enable them to interact with the power supply company. A US-based company has begun the feasibility study for the first-of-its kind project in the country cleared by the Central Power Research Institute.

The United States Trade Development Authority is funding the feasibility study to develop requirements and specifications for the smart grid plan. The grant to Bescom is a part of an agreement between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama in 2009 for co-operation in clean energy and energy efficiency. The pilot project will established in the Keonics City area of Electronics City (S 8 sub-division).

Feasability studies

According to sources, Bescom wants to test all relevant features of smart grid that pertain to distribution and utility, including advance metering infrastructure, meter data management, demand response, smart pricing, billing and collections and integration of distribution of renewable resources. It also involves linking with initiatives such as a distribution automation system and a restructured accelerated power reforms development project (APDRP).

“We have two consultants for the project. Our Indian consultant CPRI completed the feasibility study and has submitted base preliminary report. The international consultants, KEMA of the USA, will study the entire system requirement and submit final recommendations along with details like project feasibility and smart grid system functionalities,” said Bescom sources.

“Through the pilot project, Bescom expects to develop the expertise and business experience required for extending smart grid to its other divisions. The foreign agency will help us implement the pilot project,” sources said.

They said that Karnataka had implemented supervisory control and data acquisition atmore than 1,000 power stations and that Bescom had experience in implementing the Distribution Automation System and APDRP. “These would help implement the smart grid project better,” they said.

The smart grid, an integration of information and communication technology with transmission and distribution system, ensures electricity to consumers using two-way technology and enables the efficient management of power use by them.

“It identifies and corrects supply-demand imbalances in the grid and enhances reliability of the system through a self-healing process,” said Bescom authorities. Officials said that the smart grid will also enable the transition to renewable sources of energy. It will also help reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

The 18-month project will also focus on consumer portal service, billing data, energy audit and condition-based maintenance, load research, workforce management and network monitoring.

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