CEA to put in place a feeder code to help identify power leakages

Venkatesh Ganesh Mumbai | Updated on December 04, 2019

File photo   -  THE HINDU

This code is similar to a vehicle number plate which helps in identifying where the vehicle has been registered

The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) wants to put in place a feeder code that will help them to identify power leakages, which could potentially reduce distribution companies (discoms) losses.

Feeders, as the name suggests, are power lines which transmits electricity from generating station to a sub station, which is then distributed to end consumers. Every state discom has a feeder code, which is referred to as a feeder code. This code is similar to a vehicle number plate which helps in identifying where the vehicle has been registered.

For example, the Mangalore Electricity Supply Company has a four-character alpha-numeric code.

The West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company (WBSEDCL) ) has four character code of which three are numbers. BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) has adopted 16 character code scheme which is a combination of alphabets, special characters and numbers.

This has raised the demands for standardisation, especially with the concept of smart grid gaining momentum. “Without standardisation, forget power monitoring, you will not even be able to measure the data accurately,” said an official in PFC.

The Ministry of Power (MoP) through its Central Public Sector Enterprises such as REC and PFC is implementing various schemes related to strengthening power distribution infrastructure and monitoring quality as well as quantity of power being supplied by the state discoms.

Variation in coding scheme of discoms creates obstacles in importing all feeders data and their operational parameters in single platform for analysis, said an official.

“Instead of this a standard 14 character alpha-numerical code has been proposed,” said a representative from a discom who was in the meeting.

A committee was constituted comprising members from CEA and Discoms of West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL), Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (MESCOM), Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL), Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited (HPSEBL), Paschim Gujarat Vij Company Limited (PGVCL), Andhra Pradesh Southern Power Distribution Company Ltd (APSPDCL), REC Power Distribution Company Limited (RECPDCL) and BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) to assist CEA in preparing this guideline for feeders in the country.

These changes are being made in the power sector, which has been plagued by poor service quality and a stuttering infrastructure which is unprofessionally managed. All this has resulted in the poor financial condition of discoms which has gone up from Rs 35,500 crore to Rs 74,700 crore.

“Every state has different transmission and distribution and commercial losses which is currently assessed randomly. With a Smart Grid, all old transformers will need to be standardised and,” said Rupesh Sankhe,

Most of these problems can be addressed by proper technological intervention, especially in respect of monitoring power distribution and help in reducing losses due to non-realisation of total billed amount or AT&C losses. This is estimated to be around 20-25 per cent in India.

While India has been successful in reforming the generation and transmission sectors by bringing efficiencies through competition, the distribution sector is lagging behind and as a result there is a risk that all the good work at the upstream end will get nullified. “Solving the theft problem can be the biggest boon for this sector. Certainly technological developments will help, but they will have to be supported with huge political will to punish the miscreants who are stealing power and also resist the temptation of giving free power. Without this, the technological developments alone will not suffice,” said Pratik Agarwal, Managing Director, Sterlite Power.

The Universal Feeder Code will also help in identification of particular feeder and the power supply attributes related to it once it is digitally mapped, officials said.

Published on December 04, 2019

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