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We aim to use AI to foresee power demands and cut down losses: Arun Mahesh Babu, MD, GPCL & UGVCL

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Digital transformation is impacting businesses worldwide, changing traditional models, and redefining how companies operate and engage with their customers. The trend has also pushed a major digital evolution in the government and public sector as well. In an exclusive interview with Express Computer, Arun Mahesh Babu, Managing Director, Gujarat Power Corporation Ltd. (GPCL) and Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited (UGVCL), shares his views on how GPCL is adopting emerging technologies to streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and improve the business output.

What are the key IT initiatives Gujarat Power Corporation is taking? What has been the impact of your initiatives?

UGVCL Discomm is coming up with Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS), which is a SCADA-based software system that handles billing for consumer metering, smart grid stability, and outage prevention. Therefore, it is an important part of the IT system when discussing the applications of AI and ML in the industry.

It has been distributed over four areas, primarily generation, transmission, distribution, and consumption by consumers. IT applications are quite relative in all these areas and we are working sequentially and progressively for further development.

As Rome was not built in a day, development and growth took time. Therefore, with regards to impact, say, in terms of generation, we can determine how much power needs to be stored and released at different times of the day by utilising IT applications and digital solutions.

Similarly, observing the consumption pattern, all citizens use their maximum power between 05:00 and 09:00 am. while getting ready for work, school, or college, if you pay attention to the time of day. A majority of the power is used in the kitchen and restroom. A similar pattern follows in the evening hours from 06:00-10:00 pm. Analysing these patterns, we can forecast power consumption and decide the generation and distribution loads accordingly.

Moreover, to improve efficiency in transmitting power, we are leveraging IT solutions to identify power leakages and devise solutions to plug the gap. Also, we are proactively using technology to prevent outages and losses while the distribution of power to the consumers. Hence, technological solutions have posed a boon for us to reduce those transmission and consumption losses.


What part, do you think, emerging technologies like AI and ML will play in your company?

We have recently implemented AI and ML technologies in our company, through chatbots.
The chatbot helps enhance customer experience with effective responses. Thus, the data of billing, customer data, consumer metering, and more, are generated by the chatbots.

When it comes to the generation of power, we need to know the electricity demands first. Hence, we plan to leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence to collect consumer data to understand the requirements of the commercial and industrial sectors respectively.

We are using AI to analyse weather data and understand changing power demands from season to season. Besides, to understand the demand for renewable energy in the power blend, Gujarat Power is planning to leverage AI in the future to precisely analyse whether to use wind, solar, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy sources.

Can you share with us a few more details regarding your upcoming IT implementation plans?

In the future, we also plan to use predictive management keys which can be plugged into an area to prevent electricity theft.

We are also planning to use AI in the future to determine whether to buy power from a company or a power exchange. Should we purchase it directly from the electricity providers, or should we invest in battery storage systems?

Thus, this is a broad view of our IT roadmap for the next six months or a year.

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