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Smart Utility: HVPNL's IT-driven system ensures efficiency

November 13, 2014
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Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Limited (HVPNL), Haryana’s power transmission corporation, was incorporated in 1997 and has since been managing the state’s power transmission network. It is involved in the planning, designing, construction, erection and maintenance of transmission lines and substations. HVPNL has been significantly adding to the state’s transmission network, constructing a total of 393 new substations, augmenting 740 existing substations and building a 5,600 km transmission line network from March 2005 to January 2014, adding 25,685.8 MVA of transmission capacity in the process.

With its expanding infrastructure, it became essential for the utility to bring efficiencies in business processes and keep pace with the changing business scenario. To this end, HVPNL launched “Project Urja” to incorporate computerisation and automation in its operations. This has led to the replacement of traditional decision-making with an IT-driven system of corporate governance and operations management, which works better, costs less and is more transparent.

tele.net takes a look at the utility’s telecom initiatives over the past few years…

HVPNL prepared its IT strategy with the aim of using IT in all its operations in a networked environment. This was also considered essential in light of the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (R-APDRP) launched by the central government. The programme, targeting all power utilities across the country, aimed at achieving sustained loss reduction through the adoption of IT in areas of energy accounting and consumer service. To incorporate IT in its business operations, HVPNL has partnered with Indian IT major Tech Mahindra, which, along with its three consortium partners, oversees the utility’s IT adoption.

An important requirement of the R-APDRP is implementation of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software application. HVPNL has fully implemented ERP modules with the assistance of IFS Solutions India Private Limited, one of the consortium partners. Activities such as maintaining payroll, finance and accounts, material management, and data warehousing have been made ERP enabled. In addition, ERP and commercial off-the-shelf-based solutions for document management, legal services and fleet management have been put in place. The utility has also implemented substations (operations and maintenance) module and computerisation of field offices.

To enable these software applications, the base communications network must be robust. HVPNL works with multiple bandwidths of 2 Mbps, 5 Mbps, 8 Mbps and 20 Mbps, serving different locations. The data centre maintained by Tech Mahindra receives a bandwidth of 20 Mbps delivered through multiprotocol label switching links sourced from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. Other locations, including corporate offices, field zonal offices, circle offices, division offices and all the substations are connected through the state wide area network. The local area network (LAN) at HVPNL’s head office located in Shakti Bhawan, Panchkula, is a combination of wireless and wired LAN and is used to serve other locations using point-to-point wireless connectivity. HVPNL uses IT equipment and infrastructure available at the state data centre under the co-location policy of the state government. All hardware like computers, peripherals, networking equipment and system software has been procured through HARTRON, Haryana State Electronics Development Corporation Limited. HARTRON is at the forefront of providing support to state organisations in their effort to adopt IT solutions.

Further, the utility has implemented a supervisory control and data acquisition/energy management system, which supervises, controls, optimises and manages its transmission system. The systems are a vital part of its power networks and will further enable the development of smart grids, the highly automated energy systems of the future that have now become the thrust of all policy matters.

There are still a few concerns that the HVPNL management faces with regard to IT adoption, with the lack of qualified IT staff being a key concern. It is trying to counter this issue by arranging for training of the IT team, application users and the top management from time to time. Going forward, though the adoption of upcoming technologies like virtualisation and big data analytics does not feature in the utility’s immediate road map, the management is sure to adopt these if the need arises. For ensuring adequate, safe and economical transmission of electricity pertaining to the quality, availability and reliability of services, the utility will have to continuously strive towards increasing IT adoption.

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