The eight smart grid pilots, which were announced in July 2011 by Sam Pitroda, who is the chairman of Smart Grid India Task Force and adviser to the Prime Minister, are set to be rolled out in the coming months. According to the Economic Times, the Power ministry is going to finalize these 8 projects of worth 500 crore (US $ 9.69 million) in the next 2 months. Smart Grid, which uses combination of various technologies to improve the efficiency and reliability of the grid is essential for India's sustainable growth.
The 14 Utilities, which manages the power distribution across India will submit the proposal for the 8 pilot projects. According to the officials, the selected proposals will receive funding of around 50 to 60 crore. The pilots will focus on addressing three key issues, 1) Reduction of aggregate technical and commercial (AT & C) losses, 2) Peak load management, and 3) Integration of renewable energy like wind and solar into the grid. Once started, It is expected that the pilots will be completed in 12 to 18 months. Furthermore, 50% of the total project cost will be borne by the Power Ministry and remaining 50% by the selected utilities.
In India, where, one-quarter of the population still do no have access to electricity, It is unacceptable to have AT&C losses as high as 30 percent. Such losses if brought down to the world average with the aid of smart grid, will not only provide the electricity to the remaining 25% without any new capacity augmentation but also help reduce global warming and save considerable resources.