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R K Singh Launches Powerthon-2022 for Enabling Advanced Technology in Power Distribution

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R K Singh virtually launched Powerthon-2022

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Union Minister for Power and MNRE Shri R K Singh virtually launched Powerthon-2022, a hackathon competition under RDSS to find technology driven solutions to solve the complex problems in power distribution and to ensure quality and reliable power supply.

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In his keynote address Shri R K Singh, said that this program is much needed in the power sector. We will have a standing body and this innovation will be open and an ongoing scheme. He encouraged technologists to come forward not only with solutions to existing problems but also with other problem statements and ideas for reliable power supply. He said that ideas and concepts will be rewarded with licence and development of prototypes will also be fostered.

Secretary Power Shri Alok Kumar, CMD REC along with other senior officials from Ministry of Power, REC, Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE) IIT Bombay were present at the virtual event. DISCOMs and technologists also participated in huge numbers.

REC Limited in collaboration with SINE, IIT Bombay, India’s premier technological institute today announced the launch of the Powerthon-2022, a hackathon competition wherein Technology Solution Providers (TSPs), start-ups, educational institutions, research institute, equipment manufacturers, state power utilities and other state and central power sector entities, shall be briefed on the current challenges/problem statements faced across the power distribution sector and invited to participate and showcase their technology driven solutions to solve the complex problems.

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The hackathon will task participants to find innovative solutions based on advanced emerging technologies like AI/ML, Blockchain, IoT, VR/AR etc on nine (09) themes that have been identified after various discussions & consultations with 14 DISCOMs across 9 states and have been categorized across 9 broad aspects for pilot testing:

  1. Demand/Load Forecasting
  2. AT&C (Aggregate Technical & Commercial) Loss Reduction
  3. Energy Theft Detection
  4. Prediction of DT (Distribution Transformer) Failure
  5. Asset Inspection
  6. Vegetation Management
  7. Consumer Experience Enhancement
  8. RE (Renewable Energy) Integration
  9. Power Purchase Optimization

The competition will bring together qualified mentors with TSPs, innovators, and other participants from across the nation to create teams that hack for the future and develop solutions which contribute to creating a much more vibrant and efficient electricity network.

Under the competition, an Expert Group and a Technical Committee is being constituted for overall evaluation of the Proof of concept (POC) and selection of TSP. The TSPs will then be actively mentored and a pilot run shall be conducted by the selected TSP for the thematic area. On the success of the pilot run, scale-up avenues will be pursued under the RDSS scheme.

Registration is available for the hackathon competition via the link: https://sineiitb.org/mop/powerthon2022.html

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For each Problem statement, 4-5 TSPS will be shortlisted based on their Proof of Concept (POC) and asked for pilot at Discom test-bed. If the pilot run is successful, scale-up avenues will be pursued under the RDSS scheme

Powerthon-2022 is being launched in line with the aim of Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS) introduced by the Ministry of Power, Government of India. RDSS is a Reform-based and Result-linked Scheme introduced by the Ministry of Power and the key objectives of RDSS are Reducing AT&C losses to 12-15%, eliminating the ACOS-ARR gap by 2024-25 and improving the quality & reliability of the power supply to build a robust power sector which can amplify the development opportunities in the nation’s quest for a thriving economy. RDSS has 2 major components, of which Part A is Strengthening & Upgradation of Distribution infrastructure under which Smart prepaid metering, Communicable feeders for DTs & Unified software is of focus. This Scheme also lays special emphasis on using Advanced tech to analyze data generated through IT/OT devices to Increase operational efficiency & financial sustainability of DISCOMs.

It is pertinent to mention that a framework for promoting advanced technologies across power distribution sector has already been approved under the RDSS Scheme. Under this, a two-pronged strategy i.e. leveraging the existing network of Technology Solution Providers (TSPs) to test and scale up use cases at DISCOM(s); and creating power distribution focused incubators for continuous innovation in the sector has been adopted wherein REC has been entrusted as Designated Agency (DA) to search for Advanced Technologies in the Power Sector. In this regard, REC has signed an MoU with SINE under IIT Bombay as ‘Incubator cum Technology Partner’ for organizing POWERTHON-2022 as well identifying the TSP. Startup India, the flagship initiative of the Government of India, intended to catalyse startup culture and build a strong and inclusive ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in India is also supporting in wide publicity of Powerthon-2022.

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