AutoGrid and Tata enable smart energy in Mumbai

  • February 8, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Tata Power and California-based AutoGrid have partnered on an AI-enabled smart energy management initiative in Mumbai to support India’s net-zero goals.

Serving Tata Power’s customers in Mumbai, India’s most populous city, the aim is to engage 55,000 residential consumers and 6000 large C&I customers to achieve 75MW of peak capacity reduction within the first six months. There are plans to scale up the capacity reduction to 200MW by mid 2025.

Virtual power plant (VPP) and distributed energy management system (DERMS) provider AutoGrid and Tata Power, one of India’s largest integrated power companies, will deploy a demand response programme across residential, commercial and industrial customers. This programme will help address peak demand and support India’s clean energy transition.

The two companies’ collaboration started in 2021 with Tata Power Delhi Distribution’s residential customers in Delhi. Based on the success of this, Tata Power expanded the initiative within the Delhi distribution region in 2022. AutoGrid is now extending this programme across Tata Power’s distribution territories to include all segments.

In addition to the behavioural demand response (BDR) programme, Tata Power will stack on an automated demand response programme with direct load control assisted by customer participation with its in-house smart plug platform called EZ Home.

With Tata Power’s demand response programme built on the AutoGrid Flex platform, consumers can earn incentives by choosing to curtail their load in response to signals relayed via text messages and/or email during times of critical need. Because India’s predominant source of energy is thermal power, aggregating small adjustments by consumers can eliminate the need for costly and heavy-polluting plants.

“An AI-enabled, demand energy response system has the potential to empower customers and make them join the energy transition journey,” said Praveer Sinha, CEO of Tata Power. “Tata Power is committed to making distributed energy resources (DERs) mainstream and promoting a culture of high-tech energy conservation. Our partnership with AutoGrid allows us to partner with our customers to assist us in load management and help them save on their energy consumption.”

Amit Narayan, AutoGrid CEO, added: “India and Tata Power can reach ambitious sustainability goals by leveraging the flexible capacity available by adopting innovative approaches to leverage distributed energy resources. At AutoGrid, we feel privileged and passionate about supporting Tata Power’s visionary efforts to collaborate with its customers through behavioural and AI-driven demand orchestration.”

Over the past two decades, India has seen rapid growth in DERs, including solar, smart meters, electric vehicles (EVs) and EV charging infrastructure. The country has a huge opportunity to harness demand-side flexibility, strengthen the grid, and advance sustainability, but the lack of a singular, scalable programme has hindered progress in the past.

Additionally, the lack of adequate regulatory approval prevents these resources from being used at the incredible scale the India market has to offer. AutoGrid’s platform has been proven to scale DER management programmes from thousands to millions and is therefore uniquely positioned to take advantage of India’s opportunity.

AutoGrid’s AI-driven software makes distributed energy resources smarter, enabling prediction, optimisation and real-time control of energy assets, including electric vehicles, batteries, roof-top solar, utility-scale wind and storage. AutoGrid offers fleet owners, energy-as-a-service companies, renewable project developers, utilities and electricity retailers a scalable option that enables them to build, own, operate and participate in virtual power plants. The AutoGrid Flex platform manages over 6000MW of VPPs in 17 countries.