India’s largest integrated power company, Tata Power, has partnered with the Rockefeller Foundation to work together on a new venture, TP Renewable Microgrid, to accelerate distributed energy access in rural India. The venture will develop a network of 10,000 solar mini-grids over the next seven years, which is expected to bring clean energy to 50,00,000 households; 4,00,000 farmers and 1,00,000 rural enterprises — most of which otherwise rely on dirty fuel sources, like diesel. Together, they plan to set up 10,000 renewable microgrids by 2026. The collaboration aims to boost access to affordable and reliable electricity to homes and enterprises across the country’s vast rural areas.
As per Praveer Sinha, CEO, Tata Power, nearly a million Indians still need access to reliable and affordable power. “We will be targeting villages where there is intermittent access or where the power distribution companies are not keen on supplying power at the existing tariffs. We are targeting setting up these micro-grids in 10,000 of the six lakh villages in the country. This is going to supplement work being done by the governments,” he added.
TP Renewable Microgrid aims to be a clean source of power and plans to increase access while lowering power costs and bringing down carbon emissions. An estimated one million tons of carbon and 57 million liters of diesel can be avoided annually, according to the Rockefeller Foundation. Tata Power, with about 11,000 MW of installed generation capacity in the country and over 2.6 million customers, will own and operate the microgrid. This initiative comes at a time where the government is actively trying to achieve universal electrification in the country, the release said. The new unit is expected to provide clean energy to nearly five million households, directly impacting the lives of 25 million people over the next decade, according to the Rockefeller Foundation. It will be the largest microgrid operator in the world, as per the company statement.