India is not the only country with a Smart Cities Mission driving the country’s aim to upgrading the quality of life for it’s urban populations. It is a global movement with parallel programs covering all major countries and cities worldwide with the developed countries also having their programs.
Dubai is leading in it’s efforts to transform into a smart city through a co-ordinated program which as per their official website at www.smartdubai.ae/ is to make Dubai the happiest city in the world by embracing innovative technology. Dubai has invested over 7 billion dollars in its ‘smart city project’ in an effort to turn itself into a next-generation city by integrating ICT and energy.
In May 2016, KEPCO (Korea Electric Power Corporation) and DEWA (the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) held a groundbreaking ceremony for the pilot phase of a smart grid station (SGS) project, at DEWA’s vehicle workshop in Dubai. The South Korean company had signed the $3 million contract with its United Arab Emirates (UAE) counterpart in October, 2015.
An SGS is a system that optimizes the energy consumption of a building by integrating various systems such as heating, cooling, and ESS (energy storage system) with ICT (information and communications technology). A smart grid is a new electric power system that allows two-way communication between suppliers and consumers, aimed at cutting back on energy use. The aim of SGS is to increase energy efficiency as well as reduce carbon emissions.
KEPCO will build a 2.8-million-dollar smart grid station and also install solar panels in the DEWA building as a pilot project. The station will control the Green Garage operated by DEWA. This futuristic automobile garage and parking lot has office and accommodation space for workers and is part of the larger Smart City project being pursued by Dubai for completion in 2021. The Dubai project marks the first time that KEPCO introduces its SGS model to another country.
The success of this pilot project in Dubai is going to be the stepping stone before it covers the Dubai and more cities across the state.
The official website of KEPCO explains Smart Grid as follows:
“Smart grid is the electric power network that provides high-quality electric power service and maximizes efficiency of energy use by leveraging electric power and IT to make electric power network more intelligent and sophisticated
Electric power system as it is today sets reserve ratio based on maximum demand and is designed to produce 15% in excess of estimated demand. This requires additional power generation facilities, fuel to produce electric power and wastes a large quantity of electric power, which undermines energy efficiency, and the process of burning coal, oil and gas emits more carbon dioxide.
Smart grid reduces energy waste by boosting energy efficiency, promotes distributed resources based on new/renewable energy, thus lessen energy dependence on overseas, save consumption of fossil fuel fed into existing power generation facilities and reduce emission of greenhouse gas to prevent global warming.”
KEPCO expects to win more deals in the Arab countries and elsewhere which seek to more effectively manage their power supply systems. KEPCO is already present in India where it offers operations and maintenance services to thermal power plants. Kepco is also present through its subsidiary Korea South-East Power Co. Ltd, which has a 40% stake in Jinbhuvish Power Generations Pvt. Ltd which has a project in Maharashtra.
More recently, West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission (WBERC) has roped in Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) to undertake a study on the possibility of reducing transmission and distribution losses in West Bengal-based power distribution companies. CESCBSE 0.73 %, West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company, Damodar Valley Corporation and Indian Power are the major power distribution companies in West Bengal. KEPCO will conduct its study on all of these and submit a report in six months.