India formalises National Smart Grid Mission
India's urban population is projected to grow from 340m in 2008 to 590m by 2030, necessitating the expansion of Indian cities' capacity to accomodate the demand on public infrastructure and services
Indian consortium wins tender for Assam smart grid pilot
Phoenix mPower Suite for Guwahati smart grid pilot. Guwahati population: 1,042,257

In South Asia, a power distribution company in north-east India has contracted a consortium led by India-based utility software provider Phoenix IT Solutions to deliver a smart grid pilot project.

The Assam Power Distribution Company awarded the deal to the project group including NURI telecom, Korea Power Corporation (KEPCO) and Securo, which will act as the Smart Grid Implementing Agency to assist the utility in the deployment of smart grid technologies in the pilot areas of Guwahati, Assam.

Smart grid rollout

Phoenix will implement its mPower Suite of Smart Grid software products, but is also responsible for the installation of smart meters for end-users, and building communication infrastructure between consumers and feeder substation meters.

Phoenix will also aid the utility to implement time of use/critical peak pricing for the pilot area as well as deploy a web portal for pilot consumers to respond to demand response, demand side management and ToU initiatives.

Commenting on the win, Muralikrishna Gannamani, managing director and CEO of Phoenix IT Solutions, said: “This is a very happy moment for us and a clear validation of the credibility of our smart grid software product suite.”

India pilot projects

Meanwhile, UK smart metering company Cyan, which already has an established presence in the Indian market through contracts with two privately owned utilities, will supply 21,000 smart meters for a pilot project being deployed by utility Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation (CESC) in the southwest of India.

The first meters will be switched on this year with full roll-out expected by the first half of 2016.

Cyan said in a statement it believes the order is the first use of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) by a public utility for consumers in India.

John Cronin, executive chairman, at Cyan, said: “The order for the CESC project, one of the 14 smart grid pilot projects in India, will provide substantial credibility for Cyan’s CyLec solution among government-owned utilities as well as the wider energy distribution market.

He added: “The Indian government has committed to spend billions of dollars on smart grid infrastructure, according to a new report from Northeast Group.”

CESC, which has a customer base of more than more than 1.5 million domestic customers across five districts of Karnataka: Chamarajanagar, Mandya, Hassan, Kodagu and Mysore, is undertaking the smart meter pilot in a bid to reduce meter reading costs and theft and to improve peak load and power outage management.

The AMI trial in India is being co-ordinated by the Smart Grid Task Force and funded by India’s Ministry of Power.

Last year, Cyan secured an AMI deployment deal with Tata Power, due to go live this year, and a retrofit of commercial meters for Essel Utilities.

Commenting on the opportunity offered by the Indian market, Mr Cronin said: “At present, India has 200 million legacy meters currently deployed and it is estimated it will install 130 million smart meters by 2021.”