Joint venture to handle smart meter rollout in India
October 15, 2019
The Indian government’s Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) company has formed a joint venture with the National Investment & Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) to handle smart meter deployments across India.
Called IntelliSmart Infrastructure, it will implement, finance and operate the smart meter rollout programme of power distribution companies. Smart meters will lay the foundation for smart grids that will be crucial to meet challenges of the evolving energy mix and the government of India’s target of providing uninterrupted round-the-clock power supply to every Indian.
The government plans to install 25 crore smart meters in the next few years; one crore is ten million. With the replacement of 25 crore conventional meters with smart meters, billing efficiency can improve from 80 to 100 per cent, and has the potential to increase discom revenues by INR1104bn.
EESL has been spearheading the smart meter deployment in India with installation of over 625,000 smart meters. This partnership should give give a fillip to the government’s smart meter ambition.
Announcing the joint venture, Saurabh Kumar, managing director of EESL, said: “India has embarked upon a mission to reduce AT&C losses; proven world over for enabling universal, transparent and responsible energy consumption, and smart meters can play a central role in enabling such an endeavour. We are proud to have an established and experienced institution like NIIF partner with us in scaling our ongoing efforts to transform the market for this technology, and to accelerate its application across the country. This venture will support the ambitions of ongoing government programmes, such as Uday and National Smart Grid Mission.”
Sujoy Bose, CEO of NIIF, added: “IntelliSmart will support the efforts of the Indian power sector as it strives towards delivering dependable 24/7 service to end consumers. Smart meters will play a transformational role in bringing efficiencies and generating significant commercial benefits for power distribution companies, while at the same time empowering end consumers to make informed choices regarding power consumption. We are delighted to partner with EESL, which has a proven track record of driving energy efficiency by operating at a substantial scale through its strong relationship with all stakeholders.”
With a focus on expediting the deployment of smart meters across the country, IntelliSmart will seek to operate at scale by leveraging the expertise and capital of both the shareholders, EESL and NIIF. It will work collaboratively with all stakeholders to procure, deploy and provide operations and maintenance for the smart meter infrastructure.
Smart meters communicate on a real-time basis with distribution companies enabling remote meter reading and prompt identification of network failures, thereby reducing response time and improving the quality of networks and services. Smart meters also bring benefits to end users by empowering them with consumption data thereby enabling households to lower their energy bills by becoming more energy efficient and contributing to greater security and affordability of the Indian energy market.
EESL has already secured contracts for IntelliSmart to install and maintain over a crore of smart meters across various state distribution companies; the joint venture will work alongside EESL to scale this up further.