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India suffers from severe electricity shortages, particularly during peak demand hours, and often experiences shutdowns from several hours to days in certain locations. India faced an unprecedented blackout for two days in July 2012 that affected an estimated 680 million people, which is twice the population of the United States. This blackout highlights the increasing pressure on India’s power system for infrastructure and market investments for peak load management and customer engagement. Certified Smart Grid products and technology solutions from the industry provide a robust Automated Demand Response (AutoDR) system to automatically manage demand when the grid is under stress. Using the AutoDR solutions by Honeywell, a key utility vendor in India, is testing the deployments of a cost effective AutoDR solution with its customers. The DR communications technology, developed by a U.S. national laboratory, is an open specification with a compliance-testing program for interoperable deployments.
Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) is the first Indian utility to launch the AutoDR project with smart meters in the nation’s capital. The project is implemented in partnership with Honeywell, IBM, and third-party MDMS (Meter data Management system) vendor, with participation from industrial and commercial electricity customers. A total of 173 consumers participated in this project. Utility customers having load greater than 100 kilowatts (kW) and a consolidated connected load of over 400 MW are included in the project. The project includes about one hundred 11-kilovolt feeders, fed from 40 substations spread across the utility’s distribution territory. This paper reports the deployment lessons and technical challenges relevant to the Indian context.