NEW DELHI: Tata Power and The Rockefeller Foundation have announced the launch of TP Renewable Microgrid Ltd., aimed at addressing the lack of access to affordable, reliable electricity in millions of rural homes and enterprises. By scaling up an innovative microgrid model to be implemented in collaboration with Smart Power India (SPI) and the Institute for Transformative Technologies, TP Renewable Microgrid is looking to provide clean power to nearly 5 million households and up to 25 million people over the next decade.
This collaboration will amplify the Government of India’s ongoing campaign to provide electricity to rural areas, bringing the potential of renewable microgrids to households and businesses that suffer from poor reliability and coverage by traditional grid-based power.
Rural businesses and households continue to rely on alternative sources to power daily needs – with more than 40% of rural enterprises in states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh relying on non-grid sources of power such as diesel.
TP Renewable Microgrid will work to provide a competitive and cleaner source of power, expanding access and lowering effective electricity costs and carbon emissions by an estimated 1 million tons per year as well as reducing the amount of diesel burned by 57 million litres yearly. Over time, the companies predict that the opportunity to deploy grid-interactive solutions will materialise, creating a more integrated, stable and smart rural grid.
TP Renewable Microgrid will be operated and managed by Tata Power. Tata Power has previously established a joint venture with the Delhi government to serve a large portion of the local population, including sizeable slum communities. Renewable energy assets in solar and wind account for 30% of the company’s portfolio. With approximately 11,000 MW of installed generation capacity and over 2.6 million customers under management across Delhi, Ajmer and Mumbai, Tata Power is India’s largest integrated power company.
“Once at scale, TP Renewable Microgrid anticipates supporting 100,000 rural enterprises, creating 10,000 new green jobs, and providing irrigation for over 400,000 local farmers,” said Tata Power CEO Praveer Sinha. “We look forward to empowering communities across India by creating micro enterprise and opportunities for all people.”
The anticipated rollout of 10,000 grids will drastically expand the global microgrid footprint, and will act as a catalyst for governments and the private sector to collaborate in building clean, resilient and stable grids in other markets. SPI, which was launched by The Rockefeller Foundation in 2015, will provide technical expertise to the enterprise. SPI has previously built microgrids that presently provide clean, distributed electricity to more than 200 villages in rural India.
“We have an unprecedented opportunity to transform the lives of millions of people in India by providing access to power,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “Providing reliable electricity to the communities that need it most is one of the best ways for us to end poverty and unleash economic opportunity in our lifetimes.”
In addition to building, owning and operating microgrids in India, TP Renewable Microgrid Ltd. intends to provide ancillary micro enterprise services to benefit communities.
This collaboration reflects a scaling-up of The Rockefeller Foundation’s efforts to tackle energy poverty worldwide. In September 2019, The Foundation also announced the launch of the Global Commission to End Energy Poverty (GCEEP) to fast-track sustainable power solutions, investments and partnerships that will deploy globally over the next decade.
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