India on smart way with smart grid

“We are a market leader in India with an established smart metering partner ecosystem…,” says Shiv Kaushik, Country Manager, Cyan Technologies
 As India gears up for a major push towards smart cities, smart energy and smart grids are going to play a vital building block of every single smart city. In an interview with EPR, Shiv Kaushik shares how Cyan can support the Indian utilities with smart grid technology.
Smart grid and IndiaGlobal private and public utilities are adopting smart meters as vital parts of their energy distribution infrastructure. However, there is a great difference between implementing smart metering as part of an established, well-laid infrastructure dealing with incremental population increases and employing smart meters in emerging markets.
The Indian smart metering market is essentially starting from ground zero. While there are currently 200 million static electricity meters installed in India, smart meters account for less than 1 per cent of all deployed meters. In addition, over 300 million Indian inhabitants are currently living without access to power, according to a recent World Bank study. This means that the potential for the Indian smart metering market is enormous, but the solutions underpinning it must be designed specifically to deal with the economic and environmental conditions in which they will be deployed.
The government’s drive on smart cities and its promise of 24/7 electricity to all homes by 2019 will act as major driving forces on the rate of smart grid adoption in India. In addition, the potential for smart metering to reduce the ever increasing T&D losses suffered by state distribution companies and utilities will stimulate adoption across both private and public sectors.
Cyan and smart grid technologyA successful smart grid deployment requires the integration of a range of technologies, products and services from different vendors, all of which make up the smart grid ecosystem. Cyan is a market leader in the India with an established smart metering partner ecosystem that includes utilities, system integrators, telecom companies and meter manufacturers.
Cyan has invested millions of dollars in the Indian market on research and development. As a result, it is uniquely placed in the market to deliver smart metering solutions designed and other next-generation economies. While the technology is developed in-house, Cyan has qualified two India based Tier-1 contract equipment manufacturers to build its hardware solutions both for the Indian market and for exports.
Cyan today offers a range of India-focused solutions based on its sub-Ghz wireless communication platform, operating in 865-867 MHz band. Cyan’s CyLec technology is an integrated or retrofit solution. The integrated solution allows utilities to incorporate CyLec with new and replacement meter installations, and Cyan’s retrofit technology provides smart metering functionality to existing static meters. Cyan can also proudly showcase its experience of both solutions with both private and public utilities in India.
Cyan has steadily grown its India team and will continue to grow with additional sales and business development staff, and applications and technical staff. Its long-term objective is to significantly contribute to the government’s goals in developing an ‘open system’ and reduce the aggregate technical and commercial losses.
Revamping transmission and distribution systemsUtilities have an urgent need reduce transmission and distribution (T&D) losses, which are exceeding ` 2.5 lakh crore per annum. Smart metering technology supports the reduction of these T&D losses, as well as revenue assurance for the distribution utilities. Adopting smart metering allows a utility to collect accurate data from every meter, ensuring accurate billing and collection for every customer. In addition, it reduces meter reading and billing costs, as well as the cost of correcting many of the errors that occur due to faulty meter readings. Using the data that is collected, it also allows utilities to shift the load between industrial and domestic consumers during peak hours through tools such as time of use tariffs and incentives. All these benefits result in more and continuous power availability for consumers as well as more revenues for the utilities.
For consumers, smart meters would mean lower cost of service and therefore lower tariffs in the long run. They can also help consumers manage their electricity usage more efficiently and save money. They will also benefit from dynamic tariffs, which incentivise them to shift their peak electricity consumption to non-peak hours.
The decision makers in the government recognize these benefits. At the policy level, things are going in the right direction. There is a strong interest of the NDA government in power sector reforms and in promoting smart cities. There is a mission to build 100 smart cities across the country using the latest technology and infrastructure by 2022. These are extremely positive messages for the infrastructure sector in general and for power sector in particular.
All that is now required are a few bold moves. For example, the government may provide a clear mandate to the utilities to undertake pilots for smart metering and, if found successful, adopt them on mass scale. About 14 smart grid pilots are currently being funded by the Ministry of Power.
Smart grid and smart energySmart grid and smart energy are complementary terms that effectively combine latest information and communication technologies with generation, transmission and distribution of energy like electricity or gas. As India gears up for a major push towards smart cities, smart energy and smart grids are going to play a vital building block of every single smart city.
Cyan is a leading stakeholder and innovator in the smart grid industry. In the past 5 years that Cyan has been present in the Indian market, it has made major investments in better understanding the unique aspects of the Indian market and developing new smart metering products designed specifically for the Indian market. As India undertakes a transformational journey towards greater smart energy adoption, Cyan is proud to have played a supporting role in achieving many of the recent milestones in this journey. In mid-2014, Essel Utilities and Tata Power chose Cyan’s CyLec solution for commercial AMI deployments in India. In September 2014, a consortium using Cyan’s CyLec has been chosen for a pilot deployment by Uttar Gujarat Vij Co. in Naroda and Deesa districts of Gujarat. More recently, Cyan also received a purchase order of ` 9.5 crore from Enzen Global Solutions for a large pilot project being implemented for Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation Ltd. (CESC), Mysore, Karnataka.
In addition to these field deployments, Cyan has also signed two separate MoU with Ecolibrium Energy and Innologix Consulting respectively to jointly develop, market and deploy integrated smart metering solutions in India. As India gets ready to embrace smart metering across cities and states, Cyan is ready with the right technology to support the Indian utilities.
Overcoming challengesThe decision making has been slow in the past primarily because smart grid is relatively a new concept.  New technology and applications are being developed to make energy available on demand and at a reasonable cost. But there are no established standards for communication with a smart meter. Cyan has sought to address this gap by pioneering and evangelising the adoption of open standards-based, integrated smart metering solutions in India.
As the Indian market progresses to full-scale smart metering deployments, Cyan as a company is well positioned to support open standards for both meter and communication protocols. Its flagship product CyLec is an open standards-based integrated or retrofit smart metering solution. The integrated solution allows utilities to incorporate CyLec with new and replacement meter installations.

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