AutoGrid and Tata apply AI to energy use

  • July 13, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Tata Power Delhi Distribution, which supplies electricity to over seven million people in north Delhi, is working with California-based AutoGrid to deploy AI-enabled smart energy management.

The joint project will cover demand response (DR), distributed energy resource management, electric vehicles, virtual power plants, energy storage optimisation, flexibility management, forecasting, and renewable integration.

Tata Power-DDL and AutoGrid are jointly launching a behavioural demand response programme for residential users to reduce peak demand and network capital costs. This pilot project aims to empower users by helping them understand their consumption patterns and evaluate the effectiveness of DR programmes.

Electricity consumption is set to grow dramatically in India, especially for cooling purposes, as the population of the country grows and more consumers deploy air conditioners and electric vehicles. DR helps utilities reduce stress on the grid during peak periods while providing users with economic and environmental benefits.

DR programmes aim to reduce or shift energy consumption from peak hours of the day to leaner demand periods by offering incentives to the consumers for their cooperation. Participating users can stay in control of their consumption and voluntarily choose to turn down non-essential loads to reduce total load at peak times. In this way they will also be able to optimise their monthly electricity bills.

To measure the acceptability of behavioural demand response programmes and increase customer participation, the utility will also provide incentives to its customers based on the level of their participation in the pilot. The results of the pilot will then be shared with the state regulator (DERC) to formulate appropriate incentives that can be applicable for all users.

“Behavioural demand response is regarded as an essential component as it helps build up the necessary flexibility on demand side to match the flexibility on supply side,” said Ganesh Srinivasan, CEO of Tata Power-DDL. “Through this pilot programme, we intend to give more control in the hands of the consumers. As a utility of the future, we at Tata Power-DDL are steering the distribution sector towards a smarter, low-carbon economy and enabling a more dynamic electrical grid where utilities and customers collaborate to efficiently use energy. This initiative will support our mission to build a resource-efficient, greener electrical grid through smart tech integration.”

AutoGrid’s AI-based energy management provides a platform to support Tata Power-DDL’s mission.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Tata Power-DDL to bring pioneering solutions to their customer base by leveraging our best-in-class energy platform,” said Amit Narayan, CEO of AutoGrid. “With this strategic partnership, we aim to demonstrate the value of DR and DERs for the expansion of renewable energy in India and realisation of a decarbonised society while meeting the ambitions of a fast-growing economy.”

In the first phase, the programme will be initiated for three months to September 2021 with 4000 residential consumers with smart meter connections. Interested consumers would be informed a day in advance via email, SMS and calls. Based on the acceptance and success of the pilot, the programme will also be extended in a phased manner to the following areas:

  • Automated demand response leveraging residential air conditioning and HVAC system at commercial and industrial sites;
  • Integration of energy storage, solar PV, electrical vehicles and other DERs for grid balancing and stabilisation;
  • Microgrids and site optimisation for energy-as-a-service (EaaS) applications; and
  • Commercial and industrial site optimisation for EaaS.

Tata Power-DDL is a joint venture between Tata Power and the government of Delhi. It distributes electricity in north Delhi and serves a populace of seven million.

AutoGrid builds AI-powered software for smarter energy. The company’s flexibility management applications let utilities, electricity retailers, renewable energy project developers and energy service providers deliver clean, affordable and reliable energy by managing networked distributed energy resources (DERs) in real time.