Malay De, chairman of WBSEDCL, said that this is probably the first project in the world that brings the entire cycle of power generation, transmission, distribution and use by the consumer under the same roof of a single control room. "Although many countries have started smart grid projects, we are probably the first to control the entire cycle from generation to supply from a single control room," he said.
A smart grid is a form of electricity network utilising digital technology. It transmits electricity from suppliers to consumers using two-way digital communications to control appliances at consumers' homes. This saves energy, reduces costs and increases reliability and transparency. It overlays the ordinary electrical grid with an information and net metering system, which includes smart meters.
Smart grids are being promoted by many governments as a way of addressing energy independence, global warming and emergency resilience issues.
A smart grid system will identify appliances that consume excess electricity and will disconnect those, without disconnecting the more important lights and fans, in the event of a power shortfall. An entire locality will then not be devoid of electricity altogether. The control room computers will also identify any misuse. The consumer will also get a discount if she consumes less electricity during peak hours. De claims that the company will profit more with this system in place.
WBSEDCL is engaging with a private organisation in setting up of the infrastructure on a profit-sharing basis.