Though Bangladesh has earned surplus capacity in electricity generation, issues of power tripping and low voltage remain some of the main obstacles in the supply system – even in the capital.
These issues often cause troubles including damaging electric devices in the industries, household and commercial buildings.
The city dwellers, however, are going to get relief from such trouble soon.
Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC), responsible for distributing electricity in some parts of Dhaka and Narayanganj, has introduced a smart grid in its distribution system.
The DPDC is about to implement the pilot project "Introduction of Smart Grid" to supply quality and uninterrupted electricity.
Introduction of digital technology in the project will allow two-way communication between the utility providers and the customers.
To make the grid more efficient, reliable and secure, the project will also develop network communication; automation control and new technologies and tools.
The distribution grid is currently designed to supply electricity to consumers' end through one-way interaction which makes it difficult for the grid to respond to ever-changing and rising energy demand.
December 2022 is the deadline for the implementation of the smart grid project, as per the DPP (Draft Project Proposal).
The government will finance Tk381.61 crore of the Tk1,500 crore project. Tk1056.60 crore will be taken as project aid. The DPDC will spend Tk88 lakh from its fund.
Of total the aid, the French Agency for Development (AFD) will finance Tk942.71 crore and the European Union (EU) will give Tk103.84 crore as a grant.
"We have sent the DPP to the Ministry [of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources] and it is under evaluation. The ministry will forward it to the planning division," said a senior DPDC official.
Under this pilot project, five sub-stations will be built at Zigatola, Lalmatia, Asadgate, Satmosjid and Green Road.
However, under the main project, two 132 kilo-volt sub-stations will be set up at Shyampur and Mohammadi Steel areas in Narayanganj, and three 33kv sub-stations at Lalbag, Kalyanpur and Madartek of Dhaka.
It is expected that the smart grid will enable utility providers to manage and moderate electricity operating cost, enabling the engineers to manage electricity production more predictably.
The smart grid distribution will counter any outages in the system caused by a storm, bad weather or sudden changes in electricity demands by automatically rerouting and restoring power delivery.
"For making Dhaka a clean and scenic city, we have taken several initiatives. We have started to put all the electric distribution lines underground, including the existing above-ground ones. The smart grid is a part of this initiative," said DPDC Managing Director Engineer Bikash Dewan.
"Implementation of this project will give the consumers a better supply of electricity. And our technical persons would be able to fix the problem very smartly," Bikash elaborated.
Currently, the DPDC has 11.95 lakh consumers and the ratio of consumer growth is 7.10 percent.
Of the total consumers, around 42.18 percent is domestic and 32.34 percent is industrial and the rest are the commercial users.