Characterization and Effectiveness of Technologies for India’s Electric Grid Reliability and Energy Security
India’s electricity grid is aging, and the transmission and distribution (T&D) losses amount to 25%, with $5.7 billion in financial losses to the utilities. In 2013–14, India had an average peak power deficit of 9% and an average energy deficit of 8.7% due to insufficient generation and transmission capacity, resulting in rolling blackouts. Technologies and interoperability standards have enabled utilities and systems operators in the United States (U.S.) to engage customers for electricity reliability. The Indian Government’s Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Program established the need for automated systems to collect baseline data and information technology adoption for grid reliability. Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited’s (TPDDL) advanced Smart Grid project plans to increase reliability and readiness of customers for automated demand response (AutoDR). The project includes smart meters and interoperable communications for data analytics and automated dispatch for load reduction during power deficiency. This study characterizes TPDDL’s integrated AutoDR system, including advanced metering infrastructure, data analytics, smart meters, and interoperability standards. We evaluate the technology effectiveness where the analyses show a 75th percentile load reduction of 10% for 144 commercial and industrial facilities with an aggregated coincident total peak load of 25 megawatts (MW). AutoDR can improve customers’ responsiveness and a utility’s arbitrage for electricity shortfall and high cost of peak power. A well-designed program can accelerate technology use and encourage customer participation. Innovative technology solutions can enhance the grid reliability by minimizing the instances of outages in India, and improve energy security by enabling integration of renewable generation to scale.