Ongoing since 2021, WISE aims to assess the potential and opportunities for digitalisation of electricity distribution companies, taking into consideration the feasibility of acceptance and implementation in the context of specific technology as well as non-technology barriers. The project is supported by Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, New Delhi.
The Power Sector Vision 2030 for Maharashtra, prepared by WISE, suggests strategies for the power sector to address three major disruptions: decentralization, decarbonization and digitalization. The three disruptions are clearly interlinked as the emerging trends in decentralization (mini grids, local generation, demand response) and decarbonization (renewables and electric mobility), and will require digital technologies to hold the system together. Of the three trends, digitilization of the power grid has great potential to unlock value by improving the technical and operational efficiency of utilities, in particular for the distribution sector. The outcomes to be achieved during the assignment are divided into short term, medium, and long term, which are as follows:
• Identification of specific digital interventions to improve operational efficiencies in the distribution sector (short).
• Better asset maintenance and management to reduce downtime and improve efficiencies (medium).
• Reduction in distribution losses by 3-5 percentage points through adoption of digital technologies in the next 3-5 years (long term).
The key steps, as envisaged under the study, are:
• Overview of digital technology adoption across different distribution utilities in the state.
• Study of key digital technologies for distribution sector through literature review and case studies, and identification of key digitalization interventions that can have a significant impact in reducing the AT&C losses. Some of the indicative areas could be smart substations, sensor-based DT monitoring, advanced metering infrastructure, convergence between utility SCADA and Regional Load Dispatch Center, vehicle to grid, etc.
• Identify key technological and non-technological measures across different utilities for adopting digital technologies through extensive stakeholder consultation.
• Create management information framework for digital adoption to identify key digitalization interventions that can improve operational efficiencies across distribution network.
• Prepare draft report on key recommendations on specific digital interventions with expected financial implications based on technology integration costs/successful implementation models followed by stakeholder discussions.
• Prepare final report and present the proposed recommendations to the top management of utilities and utility officials.
The project was thus successfully completed.