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December 04, 2012

India Set to Scale Up, Secure its Power Grid



India Ministry of Power official, Jyotiraditya Scindia, has informed the Lok Sabha, the nation’s lower house of the Parliament, that Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. is implementing several new smart grid pilot projects.

The Power Grid Corporation (POWERGRID) is a state-owned electric utility headquartered in Gurgaon, India – the second-largest city in the Indian state of Haryana, about 20 miles from New Delhi. The company wields about 50 percent of the total power generated in India on its transmission network.

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The smart grid pilot projects are being carried out in the wake of the July 31 electrical blackout that affected an area encompassing about 670 million people in India, or roughly 10 percent of the world’s population. Three of the country’s interconnected northern power grids collapsed for several hours, as outages extended nearly 2,000 miles, from India’s eastern border with Myanmar to its western border with Pakistan.

So-called Blackout Tuesday — which came only a day after another major power failure — represented an embarrassing reminder for the rising BRIC economic power of the problems holding it back, including an inadequate energy  infrastructure, a widespread power shortage and a glaring lack of governmental action. 


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Already, a pilot project in India’s Northern Region is being implemented that would protect the grid and provide more energy security, if successful. The initiative involves the deployment of a wide area measurement system – a platform that provides complete monitoring, protection and control of the power grid.

Integral to the new platform is a phasor measurement unit (PMU), often called a synchrophasor, which is a device that measures the voltages and currents at multiple, diverse points on the grid in real time, to provide the status of power quality.

Similar pilot projects in the Northern Region, Western Region, Eastern Region, Southern Region and North Eastern Region are also in various phases of production. In addition, Scindia stated that a similar project covering all states and the Inter State Transmission System network is awaiting regulatory approval by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) – a key regulator of the power sector in India.

To upgrade distribution, POWERGRID has started work on a smart grid pilot project previously approved for Puducherry in the Southern Region. An MOU was signed with the Government of Puducherry in March 2012, and POWERGRID says 63 organizations are involved in executing the project. 


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Edited by Braden Becker
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