Telangana Drafts A Detailed Plan for Integration of Smart Grid Technology

The Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission (TSERC) has drafted smart grid regulations to enhance the efficiency of its power generation, transmission, and distribution networks.

The TSERC Smart Grid Regulations, 2020 aim to aid the integration of smart-grid technology to augment network visibility and access, enable optimal asset utilization, improve consumer service levels, and increase participation from transmission and distribution licensees across the electricity sector’s value chain.

The Commission has invited comments and suggestions from stakeholders on the draft regulations. Responses must be submitted to the Commission on or before December 16, 2020.

Scope:


The TSERC said the smart grid process under its proposed regulations would include the formulation and implementation of smart grid programs, measuring their cost-effectiveness, monitoring, and reporting on their progress. The regulations also hope to boost customer engagement and participation while also conducting training and capacity building programs.

These regulations apply to all generating companies, transmission and distribution licensees, (including deemed distribution licensees, and those exempted from obtaining distribution licenses), and power consumers in the state of Telangana who are connected to the state grid.

Smart Grid Cell: 

The regulations stated that every transmission and distribution licensee would have to establish a smart grid cell within three months from the date of notification of these regulations. The smart grid cell will be responsible for conducting baseline studies, developing data, formulating smart grid programs, designing and developing smart grid projects, acquiring necessary approvals, and implementing programs.

Transmission and distribution licensees are allowed to combine energy efficiency, demand-side management, and smart grid implementation within the same cell.

Smart Grid Plans, Programs, and Projects: 

Transmission and distribution licensees will be required to submit an integrated multi-year smart grid plan for their respective areas along with a multi-year tariff petition and Annual Revenue Requirement (ARR) petitions. All smart grid projects requiring investments over ₹200 million (~$2.7 million) must be submitted to the commission to approve investments.

The Commission provided an indicative list of smart grid projects:

  1. Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI)
  2. Demand response
  3. Micro-grids
  4. Distribution supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) or distribution management
  5. Distributed generation
  6. Peak load management
  7. Outage management
  8. Asset management
  9. Wide area measurement systems
  10. Energy storage projects
  11. Grid integration of renewables
  12. Electric vehicle (EV) including grid-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-grid interactions
  13. Smart grid data collection and analysis
  14. Tariff mechanism including interruptible and dynamic tariffs, time of use, critical peak pricing, real-time pricing, among other things

Research and Development:

The TSERC also allowed for the creation of a research and development (R&D) team to study smart grid projects in the aggregate revenue requirement (ARR) up to a limit equivalent to ₹0.01 (~$0.00014) per unit of sales of the distribution licensee. For transmission licensees and state load despatch centers (SLDC), the limit will be 0.5% of the ARR that year. Transmission licensees and state load dispatch centers must maintain separate accounts for this fund and get the Commission’s approval before using them.

Cost Recovery: 

Transmission and distribution licensees are expected to identify net incremental costs associated with planning, designing, and implementing smart grid programs. Licensees are allowed to propose a methodology for recovering net incremental costs through tariffs or any other mechanism. To be eligible for cost recovery, each program must have been implemented as per the approved program plan and must have acquired prior approval.

Monitoring and Evaluation: 

Smart grid programs must be monitored and evaluated based on the appropriate methodology, including key performance indicators (KPI) as decided by the Commission using suitable measurement and verification protocols identified for each program. Licensees are expected to submit an evaluation report to the Commission.

Awareness and Capacity Building: 

Transmission and distribution licensees are expected to reserve 1% of the project cost of each smart grid project towards consumer awareness and capacity building. They must lay out a clear internal and external communications strategy that identifies project needs in their detailed project reports.

Recently, the TSERC issued an amendment to the net metering regulations for grid-connected rooftop solar systems. As per the amendment to clause 10.6 of the principal regulations, the number of electricity units exported by the eligible consumer should be measured in kWh only.

Recently, Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation Limited appointed Enzen to provide artificial intelligence-driven smart grid solutions for renewable energy projects in Tamil Nadu. Enzen, in partnership with Smarter Grid Solutions, will provide real-time autonomous renewable energy generation control that will maximize the potential of wind and solar energy resources available in Tamil Nadu.

Also, the Power Finance Corporation Limited has signed a Memorandum of Association with the Indian Institute of Technology – Kanpur for training, research, and entrepreneurship development in smart grid technology. PFC had said that it would provide financial support worth ₹23.89 million (~319,891) to IIT-K from its corporate social responsibility initiative.

Image credit: Zuzu, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons