October 6, 2011 - Transmission and Distribution (T&D) losses, undoubtedly, is the biggest problem being faced by many electricity companies around the world. India’s T&D losses for 2011 are expected to be between 25 and 30 per cent of total power generated.

Dealing with this loss is the primary focus of electric companies. The Smart Grid technology is one way in which such losses can be reduced. Smart Grids involve implementation of information and communication technology by power companies. This entails providing consumers with smart meters which communicate real time with power utility companies.

“Smart grid technology is very important for a country like India; it allows power utilities to predict power usage and estimate peak loads. Adjustments can then be made by providing power at lower cost during off peak hours,” said Srikanth Chandrasekaran, Chair of the IEEE SA Standards Interest Group, which is a Standards Body working in the area of Smart Grid Interoperability.

For the consumer, though, this technology helps to plan consumption of electricity; larger companies stand to profit by being able to precisely calculate peak demands and adjust electrical loads. The smart meters would also be able to prevent theft and other losses.

BESCOM (Bangalore Electicity Supply Company) took the lead in recognising the positives of a smart grid and embarked on an pilot project with a `2.04 crore aid received from the US Trade and Development Agency to implement a Smart Grid in Electronic City. As part of this project, they also installed 17,000 smart meters in the areas earmarked for the project.The project, however, seems to be in limbo since April 2011 when BESCOM was scheduled to appoint smart grid consultants.

“Smart Grid standards will help ensure interoperability between brands, this ensures a free market and its implementation is definitely not an insurmountable problem,” he added.The recent power crisis in the state seems to have been put on the backburner for now. In a state where power crisis is perennial, such technologies offer us the chance to tide over such crises.

Meet Bescom and other leading utilities at the Smart Energy International India conference and exhibition in New Delhi 14-16 November 2011