It has been our aim to build our core competence around service differentiation and build a competitive organization on the strength of cost and productive efficiency to ensure long term sustenance in an environment that places a premium on both service quality and cost accountability.
Unleashing innovation and imagination is the key to business success in the competitive marketplace. A first-time measure has been to introduce social intermediation in villages to promote the concept of energy conservation and commercialisation and facilitate metering of domestic supplies against the promise of reliable and affordable electricity supply. Consumers have responded by demonstrating commercial behaviour, resulting in avoidance of energy thefts and improving the collection of user charges. Currently, 89% of the domestic consumer population in villages is covered under metered supply. A unique intervention has been to organize basic literacy classes for village women to reinforce the role of electricity in improving lives and enhancing gender development. Success of the measures is seen from the comments made by the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, who visited one such site and stated that “seeing first-hand the tangible quality of life improvements brought by reliable electricity was memorable.
Pole/feeder pillar number has been printed on the majority of consumer bills for rendering faster and better consumer services. The same number is also available physically painted on the nearby corresponding object.
Innovations in network and demand side engineering have paid rich dividends in curtailing energy losses. A novel concept has been to introduce LT-less distribution or agricultural connections and facilitate energy-efficient pumping so as to conserve both energy and water and avoid environmental degradation. In addition, introduction of LT-insulated wires for supply to households in villages has reduced the propensity of energy thefts while optimising network performance. Process interventions in the areas of metering and billing have ensured that the loopholes for revenue leakages are effectively plugged. The Company follows a fail-safe system of electronic data transfer of meter readings to the bill-processing module, thereby dispensing with manual entries. Daily collections are monitored on-line via the WAN and LAN infrastructure. Currently, the energy losses stand at 8%, the lowest in the country, while the gross collection rate is 99%.
IT and Automation are relied upon to handle the growing size of the business, while retaining the focus on improving productivity, cycle times and customer relationships. Major initiatives include integrating network, customer and asset management by leveraging geo-spatial information, undertaking remote network sensing and operation in real time and improving daily work management by automating the business processes of billing, collection and human resource management on SAP platform. Integration of IT and Operational Technologies has provided thrust to efficient network grid and asset management across the company. GIS based systems tightly integrated with various applications of SAP have been implemented through which many mission-critical business applications are reengineered to provide better consumer services in the areas of providing new service connections, meter testing and replacement etc. Furthermore, the GIS system enables the company to do proper asset management for all the assets spread across a wide geographical area. The Outage Management System, which requires the GIS data to address outage related complaints, has been made functional. The GIS based system also caters to planning of newly emerging sectors /areas with power distribution plan along with construction of substation and able to handle upcoming new connections. The company is able to determine the technical losses utilizing GIS and real time data. The GIS based Energy Audit system is being implemented to measure the losses, direct the efforts to curb the electricity theft and thus contributing for overall loss reduction.
The span of ADMS encompasses entire distribution network from substations till LT distribution at consumer premises with the backdrop geographical representation and requisite network information sourced from GIS repository, which are subjected to timely updates through systematic mechanism. All the existing 33/11 kV Substations are completely automated and SCADA-enabled resulting into all unmanned remote operations. The ADMS environment offers an array of Distribution Management System (DMS) applications for executing complex analytics engineering on authentic SCADA information and Outage Management System (OMS) system integrated with GIS system serves as a centralized repository and management for all outage related complaints of company’s power distribution network and interfaces with customer facing system viz., CRM system and SCADA system.
Building Management System is deployed at Company’s major buildings such as Customer care buildings and Corporate office.
Company has established state-of-the-art new Technology Centre, which houses both IT and OT infrastructure. The Centre is managed through Building Management System (BMS). The Centre hosts SCADA and BMS control rooms with round the clock operations monitoring facility for power systems network operations and building facility management respectively. Furthermore, OMS dispatch centre along with integrated customer call centre also operates on round the clock basis through a different building. All such facilities have dedicated operators working shift wise to provide seamless service delivery. Division offices are also equipped with web view of SCADA.
The company has devised a concept of smart substations which are equipped with all necessary safety and security centric BMS applications viz., Fire Alarm system, CCTV surveillance, Access Control , Electric Fencing, Public Address System, Energy Management , Facility Management, Rodent Repellent, Water Leak Detection, Wicket gate monitoring etc. Presently, two numbers completely unmanned smart substations are deployed on pilot basis with all safety and security features as mentioned above and more such deployments are expected in coming years.
The critical nodes on optical fibre communication network of the company are continuously monitored through centralized Fibre Management and Monitoring system (FMMS) for immediate and accurate fault detection and location. Company has also deployed eight weather-monitoring stations at strategic locations for better weather monitoring and subsequent load planning. Smart grid technology of FLISR (Fault Location, Isolation and Service Restoration) and Self-Healing grid application has been deployed on selected 11kV RMU networks, thus enabling faster fault identification, isolation and restoration of healthy network with supervised and automated decisions respectively as per technology selection. Company is foreseeing to expand its coverage on further viable power distribution networks
Company is also actively engaged in Smart Grid initiatives. Various projects deployed / under deployment at 33Kv and 11Kv distribution network viz., real time control and monitoring of RMUs, Distribution Transformer health and load monitoring, fault passage indicators, load break switches , deployment of smart street light controllers, monitoring of captive and consumer renewable energy plants and identified HV consumers with high demand over SCADA system etc.
In its endeavour to explore and adopt new technologies in the power sector, Company is consistently keeping tap on latest developments in upcoming technologies in power sector. One such application is Intelligent Load Shedding that provides a boost to network management for maintaining grid discipline via optimizing the load demand as per available power.
In addition, the company has entered into the regime of Machine Learning and Network Intelligence via deployment of Integrated Load Forecasting Module, which helps in better forecast of load demand.
Chatbot “Saathi” based on Artificial Intelligence technology has been launched on company website, which responses on explicit types of enquiry via simplified conversation format and thus providing an enriching experience to visitor on website by creating a virtual helpdesk.
Company has introduced real time battery health monitoring system (BHMS) for substation auxiliary batteries, and is among the first such utility to achieve in power distribution sector. Next generation technologies like IoT are under consideration for applications like DT monitoring etc.
In compliance to directives vide 13th amendment of the Electricity Supply Code and as per Hon’ble UPERC order, Company has started converting the existing housing societies from single point to multipoint connection using smart pre-paid meters with dual register and dual recharge feature for Grid as well as DG supply using the RF communication infrastructure for two-way data communication. Also, as per Hon’ble UPERC order, the new connections of multi-storey residential buildings are being released by Company in multiple point mode only for supply of power to individual owners/occupants.
Company has successfully tested the “Drone” technology via conducting a proof of concept with the objective of inspection of overhead distribution line for preventive maintenance and vegetation management, to arrest the pilferage at low-tension mains and also to update land base as and when required. The drone data processing software has already been successfully deployed at GIS lab of the company. Now company is reaping benefits from the Drone technology as per their defined use cases on the regular basis.
A sophisticated smart grid lab has been deployed at one of the Company’s office location for the purpose of learning, visualization and testing off new smart grid technologies viz. GIS applications, SCADA operations, field area network automation systems, peak load management system, demand response systems, microgrid system, power quality monitoring, intelligent load shedding, self-healing system etc. The Lab also has a test bench to perform troubleshooting of installed systems and testing of new technologies in Lab environment. The Lab is under continual upgradation.
Company is also envisaging new technologies and innovation in order to meet utility requirement in automotive manner, for that Company has successfully deployed the technology of Virtual reality (VR) with the aim to create interactive and immersive applications i.e. 360⁰ VR experience of any assets with realistic and new-fangled visualization use for training purpose and showcasing our assets remotely. This is one of the foremost implementations in power distribution utility with in-house expertise and skills in this niche technology.
Due consideration is necessary to develop the power infrastructure and meet the demand escalation commensurate with the business growth. New avenues are being explored to procure power from alternative sources and supplement the current intake arrangement so as to meet the increase in load demand in the short and medium terms.