Govt moves to take up ‘automated smart grid system’
Jannatul Ferdushy || BusinessInsider
Graphics: Business Insider Bangladesh
Although the government has been remarkably successful in generating enormous amounts of electricity, the national electric grid has remained vulnerable to quality transmission, natural calamities and abrupt tripping because of manual maintenance of the grid.
Now the government is rushing to fix the problem by transforming the manual system into an ‘automated smart grid system’ as some of the mega projects are being commissioned in the next two years, officials said.
The smart grid will be able to read and collect transmission and distribution data enabling the integration of the information systems along with supplying quality power to the clients on a 24/7 basis.
An official of Power Cell — which is the planning wing of the Power Division — said the US Trade and Development Agency and Boston Consulting Group recently submitted a technical report and a roadmap on how to execute the ‘Smart National Grid.’
However, the distribution system is also suffering from low voltage, voltage fluctuations, grid trip, trouble over manual national dispatch centre, (a nationwide electronic messaging network), generating unusual bills, electricity pilferage etcetera. The project will resolve the crisis, the officials said.
The Power Division said the smart grid will disentangle the problem and will ensure the quality of the industry, aiding the mega projects like metro rail and Karnaphuli underwater Tunnel, respectively.
“Two renowned companies have submitted a technical report along with a road map to the government on installing the smart national grid. Currently, we are discussing the financial issues,” Muhammad Hossain, Director General of Power Cell told the Business Insider Bangladesh.
The distribution companies and Power Grid Company of Bangladesh will be under the project that will ensure uninterrupted quality power supply to the industries and important infrastructures, the power division official added.
Md Habibur Rahman, secretary to the Power Division, said, “We are working for automation. We have been gradually abandoning all manual management systems. If the grid gets smart, all the mismanagement and troubles will be identified and resolved instantly.”
The Awami League government that has been in power for the consecutive three terms, has enhanced electricity generation from meagre 3,500MW to 25,000MW. However, the quality of power and transmission could not be improved due to old, shabby transmission and distribution systems.
The businesses at times expressed their indifference to the national grid because of the pitiable quality of power. They have built captive power plants of their own that can produce up to 4,000MW. This causes grid power to stay idle.
“The project is connected with the entire national grid directly, so I think the metro trains will not face any trouble.” Khondaker Ehteshamul Kabir, Additional Project Director of Dhaka Metro Rail told Business Insider Bangladesh.
However, some experts think due to direct connection with the national grid, the existing traditional grid will be more sensitive.
“The Power Ministry is yet to ensure adequate, quality electricity supply to the metro transit system. To run such a high speed train, ensuring quality power is a must. I think there is no option but a smart grid to run some projects,” Prof Shamsul Alam, a prominent energy expert in the country, told Business Insider Bangladesh.