Weather Portal for Power Sector

A weather portal for the power sector developed by the Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) and India Meteorological Department (IMD) and a web portal named MERIT (Merit Order Dispatch of Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency) were launched by the Minister for Power, Government of India. The portals were launched by Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State for Power, at the meeting of the Forum of Regulators according to a government release.

Day-to-day weather variations have an impact on load demand and energy production, transport, and distribution management, as well as energy prices. Extreme events such as heat waves or cold waves, wind storms or floods can have dramatic consequences on the energy generation sources and the electrical grid.

The information available in the weather portal regarding weather forecast will help utilities take pro-active steps for short- and medium-term management and supply planning requirements, and to also better plan for infrastructure availability to ensure cost-effective and reliable power supply during extreme weather occurrences.

Key features of the weather portal:

  • Regional weather summary: The weather outlook of a region for a seven-day period. To make this happen, weather stations of meteorological departments have been mapped to the nearest important electrical station or power station in each state.
  • Nowcast: Weather forecast for a short period ahead, updated every three hours.
  • Weather warning: A special nowcast warning issued for the next three hours in case of sudden weather change.
  • Radar: The Doppler Weather Radar generates different displays and derived products of practical utility based on standard algorithms. These displays are updated every 10 minutes.
  • Satellite Images: INSAT 3D is being used to monitor the weather of Indian origin. The image is updated every 30 minutes.
  • Meteogram: The Meteogram provides plots for meteorological variables such as rainfall, cloud cover, temperature, humidity, wind, speed, sea level, and thunderstorms for 10 days with a resolution time of three hours. Each Meteogram provides information for a 10-km radius.
  • Region specific forecast: Region specific forecast provides fog forecast, bay bulletin, coastal area bulletin, cyclone, and port warning.

The MERIT web portal has been developed by the Ministry of Power in association with POSOCO and Central Electricity Authority (CEA). The web portal displays information regarding the merit order (ranking available sources of energy) of electricity procured by states, such as daily state-by-state marginal variable costs of all generators, daily source of power purchases of respective states with fixed and variable costs, energy volumes and purchase prices. The web portal also gives information regarding reasons for deviation from merit order such as must-run conditions, transmission constraints.

It is expected that information available on the portal will help distribution companies optimize their power procurement efficiently, leading to lower cost of power to consumers. The portal will help facilitate must-run status for hydro and renewables and will promote use of green and clean power more transparently.

The website is also expected to promote competition for lower costs as information will be available to all stakeholders including generators and utilities for more efficient procurement. Since the information will be available to all consumers on a continuous basis, it will create pressure on utilities for continued efficiency.

As of now, the portal can be accessed via http://vidyutmode.in/. It will soon be available on apple and google play stores.

Image Credit: By NOAA, via Wikimedia Commons