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Integrated grid infrastructure for smart cities

December 24, 2022 10:40 am

Integrated grid infrastructure for smart cities

Leading experts across power sector discuss the opportunities for smart electricity in smart cities and how green and clean energy solutions and advanced technologies have enabled the industry to revitalise the power sector through various intelligent applications.
The sustainable development of cities largely depends on the efficient use and management of energy and on reducing transportation emissions. India’s announcement that it aims to reach net zero emissions by 2070 and meet fifty percent of its electricity requirements from renewable energy sources by 2030 is a step towards climate change. India is pioneering a new economic development model that could avoid the carbon-intensive approaches many countries have pursued in the past – and provide a blueprint for other developing economies.
Smart cities are developed metropolitan regions that excel in a number of categories, including technology, mobility, the environment, living standards, and governmental laws. These urban areas produce sustained economic growth and high levels of quality of life. There are already more than 100 smart city projects underway throughout the globe, which offers enormous opportunities for technology firms, utility service providers, and consulting firms. When resources are used effectively and cutting-edge technologies like IoT and smart energy metres are adopted, important services related to utilities, safety, transportation, and healthcare are managed more effectively and intelligently. Traditional power grid models struggle to fulfil the demands for energy monitoring, real-time data collection, and smart invoicing, which require a higher level of efficiency for people.
Smart Grid Security
While discussing the critical issue of grid security, Anil Kadam, Director Schneider Electric, states, “It’s true that this idea of “smart cities” is fresh. Grid has existed in India since the dawn of time. We are working to make smart cities stronger and more reliable. We now need to introduce the idea of resilience. Resiliency means – come what may, it will not fail.”. “”As a result, resilience is determined by a number of factors.” Of course, digital system security in general. Another is resilience, which also refers to how much redundancy one has and what kind of failsafe systems are in place and ready to be activated in the event of the emergency that is now happening. People sought interoperability in the power sector 20–30 years ago, when we were still in the conventional electromechanical age, before digitalisation began. They would rather have multiple OEM systems communicating with them than only one locked OEM system that is locked to them.Open communication protocols are used instead of proprietary ones.
Akilur Rahman, Chief Technology Officer Hitachi Energy India Ltd., states, “Security online is crucial. The Ministry of Power released a guideline on cybersecurity last year. So, when it comes to cybersecurity, we must remember that everyone has a role to play in it, not just original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) or Williams-type technology providers like Schneider, Siemens, or Hitachi Energy. Additionally, it’s crucial to consider how the utilities will take control of the system after we install anything and hand it over to them.
Kadam adds in “in recent years, risks in the form of cyberattacks and ransomware have suddenly appeared. One thing to keep in mind in the realm of IT is that confidentiality always comes first in cyber security”. No matter how long your banking system is down—for an hour, five hours, or ten—transactions can still be completed the next day. However, if the data’s security is compromised, one could lose trust, money, and a lot of other things. Whereas In the world of OT, losing data from switchgear or smart meters doesn’t really mean anything. People have the opinion that while it may disappear, my network shouldn’t go down. Therefore, availability is more crucial in OT than IT. A cyber attacker is a more intelligent individual; he might be a person, a group, or perhaps even a state-sponsored organisation that understands all the codes and IT language and also has access to standard communication.
Manohar Singh, AVP, Digital Power & Utilities Ernst & Young LLP states that “smart metres convey data in real time and are already equipped with two-way communications, cybersecurity will be essential for this as well.” Therefore, one of the priorities will undoubtedly be those cybersecurity-related difficulties or investments. Second, greater process standardisation is required for smart metering.In addition to this, data analytics will be important and play a significant role, particularly when smart meters are correctly implemented as a system. Real-time data that we are receiving from smart meters is the next step. When it comes to data monitisation, we need to pay more attention to that aspect in order to gain the right insights.
Singh adds more “we move forward with the implementation of smart meters, we must keep all of these things in mind. Therefore, those will be key factors in determining the installation’s quality. Thus, when discussing installation quality, it is important to remember and focus on the quality of smart meters. As a result, all meter manufacturers must place a greater emphasis on quality. One of the most crucial factors will be communication, because if metres are present but are not communicating, they will be down metres and fail to be smart meters.

Smart Grid Infrastructure

In order to build a centrally planned and managed infrastructure, smart cities will probably rely heavily on a strong smart grid platform. Smart grids are likely to be adopted widely in smart cities because of the favorable circumstances like improved internet connection and expanded ICT infrastructure. Rapid urbanisation is taking place throughout APAC. The adoption of smart city technologies is a continuing concern for both developed and emerging nations in the region. Developing nations like China, India, and Brazil are anticipated to build new infrastructure to accommodate smart grid technologies, allowing the commercial and public sectors to produce affordable, cutting-edge technological solutions.
Rahman emphasises “It’s crucial that they continue to use the system and adhere to the same process guidelines that we supply when we hand it over to the utilities, operation and maintenance, and, in general, utilities businesses.” Today, ERP is the information system in the enterprise. It undergoes a regular assessment, policy procedure, software patch update, and backup recovery process. “As part of the service level agreement with the infrastructure provider, the same thing must be done in the power and knowledge of the energy of the infrastructure.”
Rahman further concludes it by stating, “The digitisation will complement it in some way. The conventional, core automation, and SCADA systems will be complemented by the IoT. “There are numerous instances of how it benefits us extremely objectively.” Consumers, utilities, DISCOMs, and infrastructure providers in the city will all be able to understand how important it is to have real-time monitoring and data available on a regular basis.


Financial Initiatives and Investments for DISCOMs
Singh states “When it comes to financial viability, each of these utilities is already utilising funding or grants received from the Ministry of Power. There will therefore be two parts: one part will be for the onboarding of the PM, and the second part will cover onboarding and end-to-end implementation of the smart metric.” Above all there will be a role in reducing the ACR and ARR gaps, and we think that the implementation of smart meters as a whole will contribute to reducing that gap. In addition, all bills will be digitalised, requiring fewer field visits thanks to smart meters, and a lot of data will already be entering in real time and ending up on digital devices as we discuss increasing operational efficiency. As a result, there will be significant improvements in operational efficiency that will benefit DISCOMs and their continued financial stability. And finally, if we talk about gaps in there or energy input to end consumers and what the final bills or revenue discounts are currently able to generate, that will also subsequently improve.
Rahman discusses how “each future customer will be a prosumer,” so it’s sort of a bottom-up approach. “This is because those with rooftop solar can also sell energy to the grid.””As a result, there will be accountability in the system for each consumer, whether they are individual consumers, industrial consumers, or infrastructure consumers.”
Singh adds to it “If we look at one of the case studies from Bihar, we can find that 90 percent of the state has smart meters installed. “They researched about revenue realisation and billing realisation. “If I recall properly, billing efficiency increased from 60 percent to 100 percent. Similarly, revenue realisations remained constant while new realisations increased by 30 to 40 percent as a result of smart metering. Therefore, in general, “I think that if they are implemented holistically and efficiently, then those benefits can be leveraged across utilities and across the nation as well, and everyone will be able to reap those benefits moving forward.”
Rahman suggests, “We can organise our primary load-consuming operations within that time period accordingly. “So, it is clear that consumers will be able to monitor, cut back on, and optimise their energy use as a result of automation and digitalisation” They will also be able to produce and store energy in the best possible way so that they can monetise it. This is because consumers and prosumers are both gaining more than they pay for the energy in the system.
Sharma adds, “Renewable energy is quickly gaining traction in India’s power generation mix. India is currently the third-largest generator of renewable energy worldwide. The goal of India’s greatest renewable energy growth initiative is to expand global RE capacity. In addition to these, fresh measures to increase generation capacity include pump storage, green hydrogen, etc. “The transmission networks have been updated to n-1 redundancy, islanding schemes, HVAC, and HVDC systems to ensure dependable and affordable bulk power transmission.”
Anil Kadam, Director, Schneider Electric “The Indian Ministry of Power is actively promoting this digitalisation and smartness, which offers a promising future for smart cities.
Manohar Singh, AVP, Digital Power & Utilities, Ernst & Young LLP
“the implementation of smart meters as a whole will contribute to reducing the ACR and ARR gaps.”
Kapil Sharma, CEO Adani Electricity “Utility operations have been more reliable thanks to the unified grid’s increased grid stability.”
Akilur Rahman, Chief Technology Officer Hitachi Energy India Limited
“Monitoring the energy consumption by AI/ML is necessary for analysing and minimising energy losses.”

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