'We are working in association with the state government and other transmission companies to make sure that the city never experiences blackouts'
With Mumbai's demand for electricity expected to touch 5,000 MW in near future and present transmission capacity at only 2700 MW, Adani Electricity Mumbai Ltd is working on a plan to bring additional power from the national grid to the metropolis with the help of other stakeholders.
After the takeover of the company, AEML has already invested Rs 1,500 crore to upgrade the systems to bring it on par with global peers, says Kandarp Patel, CEO and MD of AEML in an interview with Dev Chatterjee and Aditi Divekar.
The demand for electricity is rising very fast in Mumbai but the present capacity of transmission lines will not be able to meet the rising demand.
What is AEML's plan to make sure that Mumbai gets high quality, uninterrupted electricity and there is no repeat of blackout of October last year?
Mumbai has transmission lines of only around 2700 MW and there are limitations on increasing embedded generation due to environmental concerns.
The only option to avoid incidences like October last year is to bring additional power into Mumbai.
This will also help to reduce power purchase cost.
We are working in association with the state government and other transmission companies to make sure that the city never experiences blackouts.
The T&D (transmission and distribution) losses was as high as 8.6 per cent and now it is reduced to 7.4 per cent.
What action are you planning to bring it down further?
We have made a lot of investments in the infrastructure and in technology to make sure that we bring down T&D losses substantially.
We are upgrading the grid infrastructure with focused investments towards automation and using technology enabled service delivery, processes and training modules in order to achieve best-in-class operations.
At the same time, we are implementing IT/OT technologies like SCADA/DMS, ERP, Geographical Information System (GIS) & Predictive Analytics.
The entire distribution network assets are mapped on GIS, allowing effective management daily operations on real time basis with minimum supply interruptions.
With the automation of the grid operations, we plan to increase distribution automation level from 40% to 100% in the next five years.
Besides, we are also deploying advanced sensors and adopting an artificial intelligence and machine learning enabled reliability centered maintenance philosophy for improved reliability.
All these measures are being taken to make sure that we emerge as a high technology company and reduce T&D losses.
Maharashtra government has come up with renewable energy policy and AEML was looking to participate.
What is your plan on that front?
At Adani group level, we are committed to lowering carbon footprint including at AEML.
As a part of that philosophy, we thought that it would be good to increase our renewable energy supply at AEML.
Currently, we are at just 3 to 4 percent in renewable supply and we want to increase it to 30-35 percent by 2030. We have already tied up 700 MW of renewable energy and in accordance with Government of India's policy, we invited a competitive bidding for supply of renewable power and through that we have secured 700 MW.
Going ahead too, we will be securing the renewable power via the bidding process to reach beyond 30-35 percent.
What are the initiatives taken on the smart meters front? How will it help the customers?
We will launch India's largest smart meter deployment of over seven lakh smart meters, starting from April.
The smart meters will help Mumbai consumers to monitor their consumption in real time and help them to take corrective actions to optimize their consumption.
It will also help with contactless meter reading and billing process.
Our digital initiatives are driven by our core belief in the "Power of Service".
Take for example, earlier, the customer had to reach out to us to avail of any services.
But now AEML has significantly increased customer touchpoints with the use of cutting-edge technology and digital services, thus empowering its customers.
AEML has installed over 90 "Genius Pay" self-help kiosks, which helps customers to avail services.
By March 2022, we will install over 200 such kiosks across Mumbai service area, assuring that a customer need not travel more than two kilometres distance to meet their service requirements from us.
As another first, the company is shortly launching a video contact centre in April for consumers to avail services from the comfort of their homes by connecting with AEML virtually through prior appointments, eliminating travel and long waiting times.
Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/ Rediff.com