The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) is taking its first tentative steps into the futuristic world of the 'Smart Metering' by rolling out a pilot scheme among its Low Tension (Industrial) category consumers. Testing the waters, the KSEB is looking at how it can improve metering electricity consumption using cutting-edge technology. LT (Industrial) consumers under 79 selected electrical section offices across the state will be outfitted with Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) under the Smart Grid pilot project. Tipped as the gateway to flawless power supply, 'smart' electrical grids incorporate cutting edge Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to make supply of electricity to consumers more efficient, sustainable and reliable.
The 79 section offices include 21 in Ernakulam district, nine in Palakkad, seven each in Alappuzha and Thrissur, six each in Kozhikode, Kottayam and Kollam and five in Thiruvananthapuram. Some very advanced equipment such as 'smart meters' will be part of AMI. Unlike conventional meters, smart meters enable more accurate metering and billing using ICT. Kerala is one of the 14 states selected by the Centre for finetuning the Smart Grid concept. In August 2012, the Union Power Ministry had announced Rs 28 crore for Kerala for undertaking pilot projects.
KSEB officials are waiting to see how a pilot project the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) has launched in Pondicherry works out before launching its own initiatives.
''AMI has distinct advantages over conventional metering. It allows increased interaction between the power utility and the individual consumer, for instance. On the consumer's end, it can also provide him/her with details like usage patterns, time of use etc,'' Vikraman Nair, Chief Engineer (Corporate Planning), KSEB, said.
''On our end, among other things, it makes management of power outages easier. We will be alerted instantly and automatically about supply disruptions. It will also make the monthly physical inspection of meters redundant,'' he said.
At the national level, the Centre has formed the inter-ministerial Smart Grid Task Force for creating a road map for evolving smart grids across the country. The Union Power Ministry had launched the India Smart Grid Forum in 2010 for speeding up its implementation.
Source- Indian Express