Smart Grid Cell to be Set Up in Telangana, says State Regulator

Highlights :

  • The Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission (TSERC) has issued a notification for implementing the TSERC (Smart Grid) Regulation, 2021.
  • A smart grid is an electrical grid with automation, communication and IT systems that can control the power flow or curtail the load to match generation in real time or near real time.

The Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission (TSERC) has issued a notification for implementing the TSERC (Smart Grid) Regulation, 2021, to be enforced from the date of its publication in the Telangana Gazette.

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A smart grid is an electrical grid with automation, communication and IT systems that can monitor power flows from points of generation to points of consumption (even down to the appliances level) and control the power flow or curtail the load to match generation in real time or near real time.

Last year, TSERC had drafted smart grid regulations to enhance the efficiency of its power generation, transmission, and distribution networks.

The commission has identified several key priorities to address existing and emerging challenges in the operation of the transmission and distribution systems to promote smart grid development in the state. These challenges include cybersecurity issues, large-scale changes in generation mix and capabilities, and the large potential of new load from electric vehicles.

The commission believes that smart grid technologies have considerable potential to promote demand response, reducing wholesale prices and price volatility.

This Regulation will be applicable to all generating companies, transmission licensees and distribution licensees (including deemed distribution licensees and those exempted from obtaining distribution licence) and electricity consumers in the State of Telangana and connected to the state grid.

According to the Commission, the smart grid process would constitute activities such as formulation and implementation of smart grid programs, monitoring, reporting, and cost-effective assessment of these programs, training and capacity building, and methodology for setting smart grid plans and funding levels.

The objectives of this regulation are to enable integration of various smart grid technologies and measures to bring about economy, efficiency improvement in generation, transmission and distribution licensee operations, manage the transmission and distribution networks effectively, enhance network security, integrate renewable and clean energy into the grid and micro grids.

To identify the targets and outcomes for smart grid programs, the transmission licensee and DISCOMs will be required to undertake a baseline study with the necessary database.

The transmission licensee and DISCOMs must also undertake studies to estimate the potential for employment of specific efficiency technologies and applications, determine existing baseline technical conditions, and establish key performance indicators. According to the baseline study’s result, both would develop a smart grid program for their supply area.

For the Commission’s approval, the transmission licensee and DISCOMs must submit an integrated ‘multi-year smart grid plan’ for their respective license areas along with a multi-year tariff petition or aggregate revenue requirement (ARR) petition.

The proposal for Smart Grid Projects shall include: detailed project report; customer engagement and participation plan as applicable; training and capacity building plan; and any other information that may be stipulated by the Commission from time to time.

All smart grid projects requiring investments of over ₹200 million must be submitted to the Commission for prior approval of investments. Investments less than ₹200 million do not require prior approval of the Commission if it is part of the multi-year smart grid plan of the utility approved by the Commission.

The transmission licensee and DISCOM must execute smart grid projects or programs in line with the Commission’s approval. Both must follow system standards as per Central Electricity Authority’s (CEA) regulation. In case of no standards or regulations notified by the CEA, both should adopt regulations and standards notified by the Commission.

The transmission licensee and DISCOM should identify the net incremental costs linked with the program’s design, planning, and implementation. Both can recover the incremental cost through tariffs or any other mechanism. To qualify for cost recovery, the program or project must be approved before implementation and executed in line with the approved program plans.

The transmission licensee and DISCOM have to reserve 1% of the project cost for capacity building and consumer awareness as it would require consumer education and outreach in smart grid programs’ initial phases.

The Government of India has notified a Smart Grid Vision and Roadmap that clearly articulates the goals and timelines for deployment with respect to the Smart Grid objectives. Further, the National Smart Grid Mission has been established by Ministry of Power (MoP), GoI to accelerate Smart Grid deployment in the country.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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