B.B. Mehta is a power sector veteran with more than 36 years of industry experience. As chief load despatcher and director, state load despatch centre (SLDC) currently, he is in charge of efficient and secure power system operation and control. He is involved in renewable energy integration, open access, energy efficiency and smart grid implementation for power system operation. He has played a key role in the implementation of SCADA, PMU, WAMS and renewable energy forecasting solutions. Earlier, he has worked as chief engineer, SLDC, Gujarat.
Mehta believes that the transmission segment is currently in a transition phase due to the increasing demand for power, the addition of generation capacity including renewables, and new technology adoption. He further believes that cross-border links with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, etc. will drive transmission infrastructure growth in India.
The key challenge for the sector, he notes, is the prolonged reduction in power demand from industrial and commercial units owing to the Covid pandemic. This has worsened the financial condition of the discoms. To address this challenge, the Odisha government has requested for financial support to infuse liquidity into the discoms at a reduced rate of interest.
In his opinion, the strategic priorities for the sector post-Covid should be the development of renewable energy, electric vehicles and cleaner fuels. He further notes that OPTCL is aiming to strengthen its transmission network to cater to the increased load growth, apart from integrating the upcoming renewable capacity. It is also adopting best operations and maintenance practices with predictive and preventive testing.
Mehta recalls his most memorable assignment as the time when he was entrusted with the establishment of a SCADA/EMS facility at three sub-SLDCs, main SLDC and backup SLDC with redundant communication with about 200 RTUs in Gujarat. “This was a truly high-tech project with state-of-the-art technology, and was completed on time with all necessary system extensions to WAMS, the website and mobile apps,” he says.
An electrical and electronics engineer, Mehta also has a master’s in engineering with a specialisation in computer systems and technology. He uses his spare time to interact with family and friends, watch comedies and browse new technologies. He enjoys old songs and Gujarati food, and draws inspiration from Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.