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Electric Efficiency Program in India Helps Utility and its Customers
Ahmedabad Electricity Company (AEC) became the first utility in India to initiate a Demand-Side Management (DSM) project in 1994, and has found large potential for cheap efficiency measures.
Electricity in Short Supply
With available capacity of only 474 MW, AEC is forced to purchase power from the neighbouring state-owned utility, the Gujarat Electricity Board (GEB), at a price
that is 50 % higher than AEC's marginal production cost, to meet their demand, which peaks at 580 MW. Electricity supply to high-tension (HT) customers, which
account for AEC's significant profit share, are often curtailed when power shortage occurs during peak load hours. Thus, every peak kWh saved through DSM of the
accounts of non-HT customers could be sold to HT customers.
Pilot DSM & Customers
When AEC started its pilot DSM program, a special DSM unit was developed within AEC's commercial department. Since the inception of DSM programs, the
utility-customer relationship has improved considerably at AEC.
The following criteria were used to select the pilot program and to identify programs for the 5-year DSM plan: impacts on system peak; program visibility to customers;
ease of implementation; implementation lead time; availability of equipment; availability of data; replicability to other utilities; and market acceptability. Considering these
criteria, AEC selected the programs described below.
Water Pumping in Buildings
AEC serves about 4,000 high-rise residential buildings that draw 20 MW of electricity. A program in progress is aimed at optimizing pumping system performance by selecting appropriately sized high-efficiency pump sets and by redesigning the piping system. Tests conducted at four sites indicate energy savings ranging from 22% to 65% and demand savings from 5% to 48%. With full implementation of these measures by building contractors in a targeted 1,000 buildings and at an expected total project cost of Rs. 40 million, 10 GWh and 2 MW will be saved. Reactive Compensation After successful pilot projects by AEC, an Energy Service Company (ESCO), Asian Management Limited (AML), has begun large-scale installation of capacitors at 20,000 industrial and commercial sites, with targeted reactive compensation of 80 MVAR. Performance is guaranteed by the ESCO, which leases the energy-efficient equipment (capacitors) to the end users. The monetary savings realized by the customers is used to finance the lease over the long term.
Municipal water supply
The water supply system at the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) contributes to 79 percent of total energy use and is a focus of DSM. Energy audits revealed potential for efficiency improvements of up to 60 % for bore well pumping systems, and of up to 54 % for existing French well pumping systems. Furthermore, capacitors at well pumps improve the power factor. If it is implemented in 200 of 800 pumps considered, this practice can realize savings of 1 MW in demand and of 4.5 GWh in energy with a payback period below 6 months. New, Efficient Lighting Another program for which the ESCO has agreed to provide financing under a leasing scheme will install 800,000 newly designed, energy-efficient lighting fixtures, which are expected to produce 14 MW and 42 GWh of savings, with a payback period of 4 years. As of mid-1997, over 200 energy-efficient lighting systems had been installed. Other programs address energy efficiency in flour mills, industry, and motors. The DSM projects were implemented in cooperation with Resource Management Associates of Madison, Inc., USA, as a part of the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Energy Management Consultation and Training (EMCAT) project in India. More information: Dr. Ashok Sarkar, Energy Policy Analyst, Resource Management Associates of Madison, Inc., 202 State Street, Suite 303, Madison, Wisconsin 53703, USA. Fax: +1-608-283-2881, e-mail: Ahmadebad Electric Company, att. General Manager V.M Thokar, Electricity House, Lal Darwaza, Ahmedabad 380 001, Gujarat, India, fax: +91-79 550 7578. The article is shortened by the editors.
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ISSUE #20 Sustainable Energy News (16 pages) (1998-02-01)
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