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Power Ministry of India to finalise Rs 5 billion smart grid pilot projects soon

According to reports, the Power Ministry is likely to finalise about eight smart grid technologies-related projects on pilot basis worth nearly Rs 500 crore in two months.

The basic idea of a smart grid is to improve overall efficiency of the power sector, especially in transmission and distribution segments, with the aid of information technology.

Around 14 state utilities are expected to submit plans for pilot projects related to smart grid technologies this month, a Power Ministry official said.

“Once the proposals are received, we are likely to select seven or eight projects on a pilot basis. Each project is expected to cost about Rs 50 to 60 crore,” the official told PTI.

Each pilot project would take about 12 to 18 months for completion.

“These pilot projects will be focused on areas such as integration of renewable energy (sources) with the grid, reduction of aggregate technical & commercial (AT&C) losses and peak load management,” the official noted.

The official pointed out that around 50 per cent of the total cost of a pilot project would be borne by the Ministry while the remaining would come from the utilities.

Amid ambitious capacity addition plans to sustain good economic growth, the power sector would be focusing more on smart grid technologies.

Huge AT&C losses, pegged at over 30 per cent, is one of the major factors hurting performance of power distribution and transmission companies.

Already, an inter-ministerial group on smart grid technologies is in place. The India Smart Grid Task Force is chaired by Sam Pitroda, who is the adviser to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation.

In July last year, Pitroda had said that a preliminary framework on smart grid is anticipated to be ready in next 18 months.

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