National accreditation board approves Tata Power’s smart meter testing lab

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A new certification granted to Tata Power for the utility’s Smart Meter Testing and Calibration Laboratory is expected to help increase the development and rollout of advanced meters in India.

Tata Power has been accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration (NABL) for its testbed in Mumbai.

The certification confirms the ability of Tata Power’s test lab to provide secure and standard testing of smart meters.

Tata Power uses the automated facility to conduct remote connect/disconnect, remote firmware upgradation, meter data communication, tamper event logging and Inter-Laboratory Comparison testing for smart meters.

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Mr Sanjay Banga, President (T&D), Tata Power said, “Our NABL accredited Meter Testing Lab is equipped to test smart meters and monitor meter data communication on a real-time basis. The Lab is a testament to superior service given to our Mumbai customers. This accreditation will further boost the confidence of customers pertaining to reliable testing and accurate calibration of smart meters.”

Test results from NABL accredited laboratories are acceptable globally and are considered equivalent to accreditations received by MRA (Mutual Recognition Agreement) partners of International Laboratory Accreditation Corporation, Denmark, according to a statement. 

The approval of the testbed is expected to boost consumer confidence in smart meters deployed by Tata Power or tested at the facility.

Today, India has deployed more than 2 million smart meters across six states. However, considering India’s population, the country’s smart meter penetration is just a small drop in the ocean. India needs to accelerate its smart meter rollout if the country is to achieve its recently announced 2025 plan.

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According to Anil Rawal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of IntelliSmart Infrastructure, the JV leading the drive for smart metering initiatives, consumer hesitancy, and unacceptance has caused the delay in the installation of advanced meters in India. Add inadequate funding, lack of supporting regulation, and procrastination by utilities to modernise grid networks, India has brewed a perfect recipe for an immature smart meter market.

However, developments such as the accreditation of Tata Power’s test facility and realisation of smart meter benefits by utilities are expected to help India to deploy 250 million or more digital meters by 2025.

Smart meters are a key element in the digital transformation of utilities to deliver the energy transition. However, India also needs to accelerate its renewable energy deployment and increase its funding of technologies such as energy storage and green hydrogen to meet its climate ambitions.

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