New Delhi: In the recently announced budget for 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a fund for the electricity distribution sector of £ 3.05.984 billion over 5 years. This fund will assist DISCOMs in setting up the infrastructure, including prepaid smart metering and feeder separation, as well as updating other systems.
The feeder separation scheme is not new to DISCOMs, and only a few states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab etc. have implemented this scheme for agricultural connections.
As part of the feeder separation scheme, different feeders are built specifically for different types of consumers – mainly agricultural consumers, express or high-income billing. However, implementation is still limited due to the larger geographic location.
Separating the feeders helps reduce supply downtime for consumers with high bills. For example, if a feeder serves a consumer mix of domestic or commercial high and low billing consumers and an error occurs due to low billing consumers, it will still affect the overall consumer mix regardless of high or low billing. This dire situation can be avoided by disconnecting the feeder.
Since the consumers with high billing (measured in terms of sales) are DISCOM's premium consumers, they should be supplied with special feeders, which also has a positive effect on the power quality.
It will also improve the load pattern on agricultural loads. By supplying the agricultural connection with six to eight hours via separate branches outside of peak hours, the load curve is improved and the burden of buying rated current during peak hours for DISCOMs is avoided.
The introduction of feeder separation therefore paves the way for optimal load management, high quality performance, reliable performance and a reduction in downtime. Since this system can create a win-win situation for the actors concerned in the energy sector, it should be prioritized by the DISCOMs.
[This piece was authored by Somesh Kumar, Partner & Leader – Power & Utilities, EY India]