Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

India's Ahmedabad to benefit from smart grid tech this year: report

Iain Morris
July 8, 2014
Ahmedabad seems likely to become the first Indian city to benefit from a smart power grid, with utility Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Pvt Ltd (UGVCL) set to roll out smart-grid services in the suburb of Naroda by October this year, according to a report from the Times of India newspaper.

Indian companies including Reliance (Mumbai, India), Wipro (Bangalore, India), Crompton (Mumbai, India), L&T (Mumbai, India) and Tapesh Energy (Ahmedabad, India) are said to have already begun installing meters equipped with SIM cards – allowing the devices to send data about energy consumption across a communications network – and some 1,500 smart meters are expected to have been deployed by mid-July.

The apparent aim is to install new smart meters in some 20,000 residential and business units in Naroda, allowing UGVCL (Mehsana, India) to collect data every 15 to 30 minutes to gain a better understanding of consumer behavior.

The work is reported to form part of a pilot project through which UGVCL will investigate smart-grid service opportunities, basing prices on usage at particular times of the day.

Should the technology indicate that demand peaks in the evenings, for instance, UGVCL would charge higher prices to consumers using energy services in those hours.

“These five companies had shown interest in the tender floated by UGVCL,” said Nityanand Srivastava, the managing director of UGVCL, as quoted by the Times of India. “These companies will first install the new meters and then by setting up their servers will develop the data network.”

“The companies will be required to submit consistency reports based on the consumer behavior,” he is said to have added.

The newspaper report indicates that UGVCL will ultimately pick one of the companies participating in the pilot to roll out a more widespread smart grid.

Srivastava is quoted as saying that smart grids will give consumers and businesses more control over their power consumption, allowing them to manage usage through a range of prepaid and postpaid services – as happens in the mobile phone industry.

“Though consumers are excited but are also a bit apprehensive with the installation of new meters,” he is quoted as saying. “They need not be afraid of higher energy bills because for the first time bill will be under their control.”
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