India’s Largest Power Company Plans 10,000 Microgrids, Swelling the Global Count

Nov. 5, 2019
India’s largest integrated power company, Tata Power, plans to set up 10,000 renewable microgrids by 2026, more than double the number of microgrid projects identified in the world today.

India’s largest integrated power company, Tata Power, plans to set up 10,000 renewable microgrids by 2026, more than double the number of microgrid projects identified in the world today.

In unveiling the plan Monday, Tata Power said the scale of the endeavour will make the company the largest microgrid developer and operator in the world.

Backed by the Rockefeller Foundation, the microgriding effort would bring power to 5 million households in India — 25 million people who lack access to a reliable grid.

Courtesy of Tata Power

“We have an unprecedented opportunity to transform the lives of millions of people in India by providing access to power,” said Rajiv 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.” 

The partners also see the project creating a microgrid model for 800 million people worldwide who lack reliable electricity — or any power at all.

Resets microgrid industry scale

The anouncement resets the world stage for the microgrid industry’s scale. The 10,000 microgrid projects are more than double those identified by Navigant Research in its second quarter 2019 tracker, which found 4,475 microgrid projects planned and installed worldwide.

Tata Power formed a new company, TP Renewable Microgrid, to build, own and operate the microgrids. The microgrids will add to the 10,763 MW of conventional and renewable generation that Tata Power owns and operates in India. The company serves 2.6 million customers in Delhi, Ajmer and Mumbai. 

Benefits to remote communities in India

After the renewable microgrids are built, the company intends to help develop micro enterprise services to benefit communities.

“Once at scale, TP Renewable Microgrid Ltd. 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.

The microgrids also will lower electricity costs, reduce carbon emissions by one million tons per year, and cut diesel use by more than 15 million gallons annually, according to Tata Power.

Another Rockefeller Foundation project, Smart Power India (SPI), will provide technical expertise for the microgrids. SPI has built microgrids for more than 200 villages in rural India.

The Institute for Transformative Technologies, which uses sustainable technology to create access to food, electricity, water and healthcare, also is assisting with the project.

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About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

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