Punjab Power Corporation Floats Tender to Install Smart Meters in Ludhiana

The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has issued a tender for installing smart meters, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) systems, and communication infrastructure with a network platform in Ludhiana.

Interested bidders will have to submit an amount of ₹2 million (~$26,920) as the earnest money deposit (EMD). The last date for the submission of bids is September 22, 2020.

The scope of work for the project includes the design, supply, installation, testing, commissioning, reading of smart meters, AMI systems, and communication infrastructure with a platform. The successful bidder would also provide operation and maintenance services for five years, which is further extendable up to three more years with mutual consent of supplier and PSPCL. The project period would be five years and six months, including six months of the implementation period. Installation, commissioning, and integration will be done within six months from the date of commencement of supply.

According to the tender document, the AMI system will consist of 90,000 single-phase smart meters, 25,000 three-phase smart meters, and  2,500 DT smart meters with the radio frequency (RF) or 4G communication module. The smart meters should have at least eight different registers to store the time of day (TOD) tariff-wise cumulative energy and maximum demand for every six hours starting from 12 AM.

The smart energy meter supplied should have a two-way communication facility suitable for advanced metering infrastructure, peak load management, including demand response.

To take part in the bidding process, the annual turnover of the bidder should have been over ₹4 billion (~$53.84 million) in any one of the last three financial years. Their net worth must also have been positive for the past three financial years.

Additionally, applicants must have supplied at least 15,000 smart meters. Or, the bidder could have implemented at least one smart metering project (of any smart meter) of at least 15,000 smart meters. The bidder should have an in-house manufacturing facility based on surface mounting technology for fixing various electronic components on its printed circuit board. The bidder should also have a fully computerized automatic test bench system to carry out routine and acceptance tests according to the required quality standards.

There is no better time to implement smart meters than now.

Social distancing regulations and the nationwide lockdown have prohibited DISCOMs from physically collecting electricity bills as conventional metering systems require readings to be checked in person. This, along with its other problems, including aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses, low tariffs, and other internal inefficiencies, has left DISCOMs in a tough spot financially. Mercom’s recent reporting makes a strong case to speed up smart meter installations in India.

Recently, Rajasthan Electronics Instruments Limited, a joint venture between the Government of India and the Government of Rajasthan, also issued a notice inviting tender for 700 energy meters in Jaipur.