TP Renewable Microgrid (TPRMG), a venture by Tata Power, is expected to complete installation work of 200 microgrids and make them ready for use by next year, said the Rockefeller Foundation — a partner in the clean energy project.
In November 2019, Tata Power had announced creating an arm, TPRMG, to set up 10,000 microgrids to provide power to 5 million homes across India.
US-based philanthropic organisation Rockefeller Foundation, which collaborated with Tata Power for this project, said it is using experience, knowledge and proven success to date in India, to help lead the development of large-scale, innovative partnerships.
It said such associations and tie-ups break down the silos between traditional utilities and disruptive new technologies, unleashing a new wave of last-mile electrification that blends grid and off-grid, fosters partnership between public and private sectors and champions clean, green and sustainable energy solutions. “Since the launch of TPRMG last November, the first microgrids are up and running with customers connected and additional construction is underway across Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The TPRMG team is working hard…we expect to have the first 200 sites ready in 2021,” Ashvin Dayal, Senior Vice President, Power Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation, told PTI in an email response to a query.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted the speed at which the project was being implemented in India, he said. India, Dayal said, is home to one of the largest “un-electrified and under-electrified” populations in the world where communities, especially in states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, still use non-grid sources like diesel generators to power more than 40 per cent of rural enterprises. Off-grid solutions, he said, can help India meet the urgent power needs of communities in a quick manner and these are cheap as well. There is a good market for off-grid power solutions in India, he said. The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) in a study has noted there is an over USD 50 billion market opportunity in India for distributed renewables and clean energy innovations.
Dayal informed that the Rockefeller Foundation has already been working in the area for quite some time in India. The Rockefeller Foundation launched Smart Power India (SPI) in 2015, which has supported establishment of 300 operating mini grids, run by a diverse set of private companies, benefiting more than 2.5 lakh customers. “The partnership with Tata Power last year, which established what will become the largest mini grid company in the world, reaching 10,000 villages and serving over 25 million people,” he added.