USAID’s Programme to curb unscheduled load shedding

QUETTA: United States Agency for International Development USAID Power Distribution Program has successfully implementing its “Load Data Improvement Program” in DISCOs, which aims to minimize unscheduled load shedding.

Currently, Pakistan is in a serious power crisis which is gravely affecting its economy and having a detrimental impact on various segments of society. With each passing day, the country is plunging deeper and deeper into the crisis – already, the electricity shortfall has hit record levels. This situation has resulted in the citizens of Pakistan bearing the burden of heavy daily load shedding of 12 to 16 hours, with the expectation that it might increase in the future.

In view of the high shortfall of power currently prevailing, government owned power distribution companies DISCOs lack the capacity to manage planned load shedding, mainly due to unpredictable loading, below par communications systems, manual implementation and ineffective monitoring systems due to the nonavailability of information regarding real-time loading conditions.

To mitigate load shedding, in particular unplanned load shedding, the United States Agency of International Development USAID Power Distribution Program has launched the Load Data Improvement LDI project. This project aims at installing Automatic Meter Reading AMR devices at all incoming and outgoing feeders of the grid stations in all nine DISCOs across Pakistan.

AMR devices are being installed on a fast track basis in all DISCOs including Faisalabad Electric Supply Company FESCO. The project also includes upgrading of each DISCO’s Power Distribution Centre PDC and accordingly FESCO’s PDC was upgraded and made functional on May 30, 2013, with live data now being acquired from all of its grid stations and feeders.

This data will help the FESCO PDC operators to continuously know the real-time load of its power distribution system, and will consequently enable the monitoring of actual loads to implement optimum load management and best utilization of available power. Resultantly this project will give comfort to consumers through the massive reduction in unscheduled load shedding, leading to increased production and a reduction in the amount of lost power production in the country.

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