UDAY scheme is designed to address the financial problems of power distribution

December 25, 2015 2:39 am0 commentsViews: 225

uday_schemeKindly shed light on the government’s Amnesty scheme and how does it help in settling disputed electricity bills. How much has BSES benefited from this scheme?

The aim of the Delhi government’s Amnesty scheme is to minimise power theft, bring consumers into the billing net, reduce litigation and accord a one time opportunity to the eligible consumers to settle and pay their enforcement/ energy dues. The scheme launched on 30 August 2015 will continue till 31 December 2015. The response to the scheme has been encouraging. So far, over 28,500 (BRPL 18,249, BYPL 10,332) cases have been settled, with a settled value of over Rs 40 crore (BRPL Rs 24. 66 crore and BYPL Rs 15.6 crore).

Enumerate key smart grid technologies adopted by BSES for smooth power distribution and to curb power theft, tampering, etc.

BSES has adopted various technological initiatives to manage network operations and curb power theft. Various technologies are deployed at all voltage levels including EHV, HT and LT. The key technologies are:
a) Meter data analytics – BSES discoms have developed Meter Data Analytics Module (MDAM) to provide conclusive information from the data flow. The discoms are using MDAM module to generate useful operational reports related to quality and supply network health along with meter theft analysis. Since detection of theft is always a challenge for utilities, this module helps in theft detection through various techniques and maturity models.

b) SCADA – It provides visibility of electrical network operations, both real time and historical data, resulting in quick and prompt fault restoration with information to consumers. It closely monitors the distribution system and its behaviour. Data is utilised in planning as well as in the management decision making. Further, it helps in increasing the efficiency of operations, resulting in a better regulatory compliance. All the data of the receiving station is logged at a half an hour interval, which provides the load flow trend.

c) Smart pre-paid metering system – BSES has introduced the adoption of pre-paid smart metering. It eliminates most of the hassles related to prepaid meters, like negative balance cases; meter bypass/theft cases; tariff updation issues; RTC failure cases leading to non-reduction of fixed charges; meter reading related issues, etc.

d) Grid energy management system (GEMS) – All incoming and outgoing feeders are metered at all the 130 grid sub stations of BSES. GEMS provides a comprehensive solution for energy information acquisition, monitoring, analysis and reporting of the network health and energy management. Data is fetched at the central server from all grid meters through automatic meter reading system at a 15 minute interval. Critical reports for network planning include overloaded feeders, low and high voltage feeders, feeders with low power factor. They provide real time curves of voltage, frequency and load.

e) Automatic meter reading (AMR) for high end consumers – Data of all high end consumers, whose sanctioned load is greater than 45 KW is read through AMR/ modem. This enables faster billing, better revenue realisation and prompt theft detection of all key consumers. This segment contributes around 40% to the total revenue.

What are the key challenges in making net metering a mass initiative?

The key challenges in making net metering a mass initiative are:

  •  Space availability for installation of solar panels
  • Roof shared with multiple users.
  • High upfront cost for installation of necessary infrastructure
  • Demand supply gaps – Since net-metering will require greater energy banking for night time use and during high cloud cover, it will result in increased demand-supply gaps during peak times. Moreover, the impact on load curve, when volume of solar installations is high, contributing to grid instability, also needs to be looked into.
  • Grid balancing: If there are too many solar installations compared to the local service transformer’s size, then managing the load demand and energy supply can become problematic.
  • Cross subsidy charges need to be reviewed – Removal of cross subsidy will make tariff rates more realistic and net-metering for all users will make more financial sense.

How are you doing on the time of day (TOD) metering aspect?

All types of energy meters installed in BSES inclusive of single phase, three phase and CT meters are TOD compliant. Further, TOD-based tariff is implemented on all consumers with sanctioned load greater than 25 KW. BRPL has implemented TOD to over 5,000 consumers with a sanctioned load of over 1,200 MW and BYPL to over 3,800 consumers, with a sanctioned load of nearly 580 MW.

While power distribution is the backbone of the power sector, it is in a real dismal state and while we have sufficient generation capacity, utilities are not willing to buy that power. What according to you needs to be done?

Many SEBs are not willing to buy power as they are incurring loss on each unit sold. Some steps that can be taken to improve the power sector include:

  • All connections must be metered.
  • Free hand must be given to curb power theft.
  • Active support of government and law enforcing agencies are a must to curb power theft
  • Government assistance must be provided to discoms for upgradation of the LT HT network.
  • Subsidy must be reimbursed by the government in advance.
  • Retail tariff must be cost reflective.
  • Old and inefficient plants with old PPAs should be replaced with efficient plants with optimum operational costs and high PLF and low auxiliary consumption.

Will govt schemes like the UDAY initiative suffice or do we need to walk that extra mile to pull the distribution sector out of the current mess?

The government’s recently launched UDAY scheme is designed to address the financial problems of power distribution in the country. We have formally written to the Delhi government to take up our request for participation in the scheme with the Central government. We have already raised the issue in our board comprising govt nominees. Implementation of this scheme in Delhi will benefit the city consumers in terms of lower future tariff due to less interest outgo and lower cost of power.

How has the year 2015 been for BSES? Any new strategies/technological upgradations that you plan to bring forth in the coming year?

BSES has always taken a lead in adopting new technologies to ensure reliable and quality power supply to more than 36 lakh consumers. We plan to implement the following new initiatives/technological in the coming year-

  • Smart meter for 3ph street light as controller.
  • Smart meter for temporary connection – Although it involves a higher cost, use of smart meters on temporary connections will help in re-cycling of meters and help to reduce billing issues.
  • Advanced metering (AMI) system on RF canopyadvanced metering can enhance a power consumer’s ability to reduce demand. It also increases an electric utility’s ability to meter and monitor the consumer’s use.
  • BSES is preparing project reports for implementation of smart grid in selected sub divisions.
  • Technological upgradation in SCADA.
  • Smart meter pilot project taken-up in select locations.
  • Implementation of DMS.

As told by a BSES official to Monica Chaturvedi Charna

 

 

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