The ninth monthly ISA get together and stakeholder’s meeting held at Delhi on January 24, proved to be a busy event. The meeting was held at Tata Power DDL auditorium followed by a visit to the Smart Grid lab of Tata Power DDL.
PV Magazine attended the meet through live broadcast to observe the new initiatives of ISA stakeholders.
The meeting began by addressing the attendant dignitaries and updating them about the ISA forum that took place during the WFES Abu Dhabi event held on January 15-18. Ten MoUs were exchanged during the ISA forum. The Minister of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), RK Singh, announced the establishment of $350 million solar funds. Also, the GCF (Global Climate fund) has announced that it will become a partner with the ISA.
Commencing the meeting, Pravir Sinha, CEO, and MD at Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (DDL) revealed details about the Smart Grid Lab that had been set up a year and a half back. Its purpose is to meet the challenges of the network, grid and the issue of connecting distributed energy resources. Sinha also highlighted the importance of energy storage and mentioned the undertaking of a pilot project with Applied Energy Services (AES) Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation.
Concluding, Sinha said that the company is in the process of starting a Tata Smart Energy Incubation hub with funding of INR 150 million ($ 2.25 million) from Tata Trust. Some funding will also be available from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. The sole purpose is to encourage startups to work in the smart energy space.
At the event, Surinder Raina, Executive Director NTPC Limited, emphasized the work that NTPC is doing in the field of solar. The NTPC has an installed capacity of 51.4 GW, of which renewable power is just 0.92 GW. He mentioned that the NTPC plans to change this scenario and has set a renewables target of 32 GW by 2032. The R&D facilities of the NTPC are also working on solar developments, and one such initiative was a floating solar plant in kayamkulam, Kerala. The NTPC, along with China Power and light (CLP) group, announced a voluntary contribution of $1 million each to ISA.
Manish Tiwari, AGM, Power Grid Corporation of India, highlighted the green energy corridors that are under development. This includes the Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) pilot projects, which are located in Pudducherry, southern India, and based on advanced lead acid 250kWh, lithium-ion 250kWh, and flow battery (Zinc – iron) 1000kWh technology.
India’s information technology giant Infosys was also present at the gathering. Rakesh Bohra, Manager – Green Initiatives & Infrastructures at Infosys, highlighted the role played by IT and IoT (Internet of Things) in solar energy projects. He said the importance of data research is helping to fight climate change, adding that Infosys sources around 44.2 % of its electricity from green power.
Bohra said that Infosys had designed a project of 30 MW in Karnataka state and implemented it with PV technology heterojunction thin films on a large scale. He stated that Infosys is going to focus on areas of design of next-generation smart PV plants, PV project construction quality management, digitalizing operations and new data search.
Ravindra Satpathi, MD, Emami Power Ltd emphasized the importance of solar parks and access to basic infrastructure. He stated that availability of water, skilled labor, power evacuation and grid management issues are important and need to be addressed.
Finally, the meeting was addressed by Upendra Tripathy, the interim director general of ISA. He invited everyone to join the solar summit on March 11; a joint invitation will be sent by India and France to all participating countries, multinational banks and key partners. In March, during the summit, 100 solar centers of excellence will be launched. These centers will consider the issues of quality, innovation, certifications and standards, and solar finance.
Tripathy announced that 20 fellowships, called ISA Fellowships, would be available in Renewable Energy and Renewable Management. Tripathy also revealed that Yes Bank has made a $5 billion commitment to solar by 2030. Additionally, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and Indian Renewable Energy Development authority (IREDA) are contributing $1 million each.