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NIIF, EESL partner for deployment of smart meters pan India
The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) has joined hands with Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) to implement, finance and operate the smart meter roll-out programme of power distribution companies. NIIF and EESL on Thursday announced a new joint venture, IntelliSmart Infrastructure Private Limited (IntelliSmart), for the smart meter roll-out programme. This comes against a backdrop of the government planning to install 25 crore smart meters in the next few years. "Smart meters will lay the foundation for smart grids which will be crucial to meet challenges of the evolving energy mix and the Government of India''s target of providing uninterrupted 24x7 power supply to every Indian," NIIF and EESL said in a joint statement. According to the statement, with the replacement of 25 crore conventional meters with smart meters, billing efficiency can improve from 80 per cent to 100 per cent, and has the potential to increase revenues of electricity distribution companies (DISCOM) by Rs 1,104 billion. Announcing the Joint Venture, Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director, EESL said smart meters can play a central role in transparent and responsible energy consumption. "This venture will support the ambitions of ongoing government programmes, such as Ujjwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) and National Smart Grid Mission," he said. Sujoy Bose, Managing Director & CEO, NIIF added, "Smart meters will play a transformational role in bringing efficiencies and generating significant commercial benefits for power distribution companies, while at the same time empowering end-consumers to make informed choices regarding power consumption." The statement said IntelliSmart will work collaboratively with all stakeholders to procure, deploy and provide operations and maintenance for the smart meter infrastructure. It added that leveraging its extensive experience with smart meters technology, EESL has already secured contracts for IntelliSmart to install and maintain over 1 crore smart meters across various state distribution companies and the JV will work alongside EESL to scale this up further.