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Electricity for consumers, both household and industrial, is set to become like any traded commodity— costlier when demand rises and cheaper when it falls.
State electricity regulatory commissions have agreed that tariffs can vary dynamically throughout the day depending on this. Consumers will be informed of price rises and how long they will last about half an hour in advance on their mobiles or on a device supplied by the utility. That will enable them to use power hungry devices when tariffs are lower.
Utilities on the other hand will see demand fall, reducing the need to buy costly power from power exchanges.
"It is part of the Centre's National Smart Grid Mission, which is being implemented on a pilot basis in 14 states, six of which have already awarded them," said Reji Kumar Pillai, president, India Smart Grid Forum.
The cost of these "phase-I projects would range between Rs 10 crore and Rs 70 crore, depending on the scale... These involve catering to consumer bases that vary between 10,000 and 80,000. Half the project cost would be financed by the Centre, the rest by respective states."
In phase II, the meeting for which was held recently, the Centre has asked states to nominate two-three smart cities where these projects can be implemented, he said.
"These would be on a larger scale and finally larger cities would be covered under the scheme," he said. In this phase, "one third of the project cost would be financed by the Centre and the rest by the state."
A smart grid allows usage to be closely monitored from a control room. It also allows utilities to tailor supply depending on demand even at the level of a household.Currently, control rooms can't keep track such granular detail.
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