Only Smart Grid can save Gurugram from power crisis
The Smart Grid project, a system of underground infrastructure maintained remotely through technology, is being touted as the solution to Gurugram’s long-standing power woes.
Expected to be ready by 2022, the Smart Grid will curb theft and technical faults to save 120-150 MW electricity in the city daily, said officials of the power distribution agency, Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN), which is managing the project.
DHBVN said the Smart Grid in Gurugram will be the first such system in the country. Under Smart Grid, all 11 KV lines and other low-transmission (LT) lines will be shifted underground and a software-based technology will root out the need for manual maintenance. This will also improve distribution, according to officials of the DHBVN.
The DHBVN has more than five lakh consumers, spread across 600 group housing societies, 35 villages, over 50 municipal colonies, 75 unauthorised colonies and in sectors 1-57. Pilferage or power theft is a big concern for the discom, as it impairs its power distribution and supply by 20%.
Under the project, a 2,500 kilometre-long duct will be constructed and the overhead infrastructure, such as wires, supported by more than 7,000 poles, feeders and transformers, will be shifted underground.
The 11KV line supplies electricity from substations to transformers, from where the retailers (domestic consumers) get household connections.
“Freed of wires, the city will look a lot better. Unlike the present distribution system, the Smart Grid project will reduce technical faults, short circuit and pilferage. The state government is committed to supplying uninterrupted power to the city,” Jaideep Fogat, executive engineer, DHBVN, said.
The present manual maintenance system will be replaced by the supervisory control and data acquisition (Scada), a software-based technology to monitor all substations. “There will be smart or advance metering and monitoring under the Smart Grid through Scada. We can monitor the utilities from the database itself and fix a fault without disrupting supply from the substation,” a DHBVN official said.
The total cost of the Smart Grid project is Rs1,600 crore, of which the Centre has to pool in Rs823 crore.
Sanjiv Chopra, the chief engineer of DHBVN, said, “We have allotted works to two companies in September 2017 for surveying the city and the two companies started duct construction in the city last month. Besides Rs823 crore share of Centre, we have to arrange Rs777 crore for the project.”
The work on the project that started on April 10 in Palam Vihar, DLF 3 and sectors 21 and 22, among others.
“Tata Project Limited is working in the areas located the west of NH-8 and Vindhya Telelink is undertaking the work in areas east of the NH-8. The two companies will have to complete the duct construction project in two years, following which installation of the software will begin. The entire project will be completed by 2022,” Rajesh Kansal, subdivisional officer (SDO), DHBVN, Smart Grid, said.
The project will be executed in four phase — all overhead wires will be placed underground, following which substations will be connected to the network, Scada will be installed and advance metering system will be put in place, in that order.
The Smart Grid project was conceived by the Haryana government in 2011-12 with an aim to improve the electricity distribution system. Fund arrangements between state and Centre and deciding the nodal agency for executing the project delayed the work by many years.
“We are keeping our fingers crossed for timely completion of the project,” said RK Chaudhary, a resident of Ardee City, where long power outages were reported earlier this week.
People also complain that faults that cause outages are not fixed on priority. “The theft by people living in slums, unauthorised colonies and villages is a major challenge for the DHBVN. We hope all this will end (once the Smart Grid project comes up). The electricity distribution and maintenance system in Gurugram is poor as the agency responsible for this is not effectively responding to faults,” Sunil Yadav, president of Palam Vihar RWA, said.