Gurgaon is poised to become the first city in the country to get a full-scale smart grid that would get rid of blackouts and allow consumers to reduce power bills by turning into ‘prosumers’— becoming suppliers during the day by feeding surplus power from rooftop solar systems into the mains and drawing back in the night.At a meeting between power minister Piyush Goyal and chief minister M L Khattar on Monday, the Centre committed a grant of Rs 273 crore, or 20% of the Rs 1,382 crore needed for the first phase. While the state government would make a matching contribution, the remaining money would come from Power System Development Fund, government sources said.
Transmission utility PowerGrid has floated the tender and bids are to be opened on July 22. The project is expected to be completed in 18 months from the date of award – or end of next year.The plan envisages expansion and upgrade of the distribution network to make it capable of meeting rising demand and integrate varying sources of power such as solar and wind projects. All cabling would also be turned underground.A smart grid works on the back of integrated communications-and-control capabilities, integrating new energy sources such as solar and wind projects with tradition sources and allows interoperability of consumers and utilites. For the common consumer, all these go towards uninterrupted supplies through a more efficient network and reduced power bills.A smart grid also allows consumers with rooftop solar systems to feed their unused power into the grid, which is adjusted against total consumption from the mains and pay – or get paid – for the balance or excess supplies, respectively.
A smart grid system can also offer time-of-day metering, which allows consumers to run heavy appliances such as washing machines etc when tariffs are low – mostly during off-peak hours.The first phase would cover one of the high-consumption stretches with high-rise condominiums and shopping malls. This phase would cover Sector 1 to Sector 57 spanning DLF, Sohna Road, South City, Maruti, IDC, Qadipur and New Colony. The area between Sector 58 and Sector 115 would be covered under the second phase, while the third phase would cover the industrial belt of Manesar.Gurgaon has been experiencing daily power cuts stretching for hours, which has prompted widespread use of polluting diesel generators. Most of the malls operate on such gensets as are high-rises, where residents end up paying hefty charges for backup power.