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Power Ministry evaluating proposals for Rs 4 billion smartgrid projects

According to reports, the Power Ministry is assessing proposals worth Rs 400 crore for smart-grid projects and a final decision is expected within few months.

Aimed at improving efficiency in the power sector, smart-grid initiatives make use of information technology, especially to bring down losses in the transmission and distribution (T&D) segment.

“We have received proposals for projects related to smart grid technologies. Currently, we are evaluating such projects worth about Rs 400 crore,” a Power Ministry official told agencies.

These projects would be carried out jointly by the Ministry and state governments. Of the Rs 400 crore, the Ministry is expected to pitch in Rs 200 crore while the rest is likely to come from state governments, the official said.

He said the projects are expected to be finalised early next fiscal. Each pilot project would take about 12 to 18 months for completion.

These initiatives would focus on various areas of the power sector, including integration of renewable energy sources with the grid and lowering of AT&C (Aggregate Technical & Commercial) losses.

Against the backdrop of ambitious capacity addition plans, smart grid technologies would help in improving overall efficiency in the power sector. The country is expected to add over 80,000 MW capacity in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17).

Soaring AT&C losses, estimated to be 30 per cent, are a major problem faced by the fast-growing Indian power sector.

An inter-ministerial group is working to promote activities related to smart grid technologies. 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.

The panel has set up five working groups, including for ‘Trials/Pilot on new technologies’ and ‘Loss reduction and theft, data gathering and analysis’.

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