Azure Power, pioneering independent power producer in the Indian solar power sector, has been awarded a grant from the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), to assess the development and accelearate adoption of solar power in rural India.
The $476,670 grant will fund a feasibility study on two 500kW micro-grid solar photovoltaic power generation pilot projects in the states of Gujarat and Chhattisgarh. The grant was signed by Mr. Henry Steingass, Regional Director for USTDA at the Infrastructure Luncheon hosted by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), here. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Mr. John Bryson, Deputy Chief of Mission Donald Lu and Mr. H S Wadhwa, COO, Azure Power were present on this occasion.
Having spearheaded the national initiative of grid-connected solar power projects that are over 1 MW in capacity, Azure Power will, with this study, open up the potential of electrifying rural India through solar powered micro-grids. Micro grids are islands of renewable power generation, power storage and enable localized power distribution. Given the power-starved situation in several thousand Indian villages, where grid-connectivity is yet to be realized, Azure Power believes that micro-grids are a viable energy alternative for household and agricultural purposes. There are an estimated 58,000 unelectrified villages which together provide a market potential of about 0.9 GW. Following the study, Azure aims to set up over 100 micro-grid solar systems, with each system covering an average of 2-3 acres of rural land which would generate sufficient power to electrify approximately 800-1,000 villages with little or no connectivity to existing electrical grids.
The USTDA India mission aims to further development of projects that have a positive economic, social and environmental impact while promoting exports of US to India. The grants provided by USTDA support the initiation of such projects and bring them close to realization. In this light, the benefits of solar power are obvious and imperative.
Ms. Leocadia I. Zak, Director, USTDA said "We are greatly enthused by the rapid growth of solar power in India in the last couple of years. However, the potential for micro-grid solar projects in the country remains largely untapped. We are committed to working closely with Indian and U.S. companies that are looking at the micro-grid opportunities in India. We are confident that the first feasibility study on solar micro-grids in India, being led by Azure Power, will lead to the development of important micro-grid projects throughout India".
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Henry Steingass, Regional Director of USTDA said, “India has ambitious energy infrastructure development goals. We are pleased to join this trade mission to support those goals, and to help open the market for U.S. clean energy technologies, which are among the best in the world.”
Speaking about this announcement Mr. H S Wadhwa, COO, Azure Power said, “We have always believed that solar power is the most promising renewable energy source for meeting rural electrification and inclusive growth in India. We believe that distributed medium scale solar power generation is the key to energy efficient economic development. With USTDA partnership we expect to unlock the potential of solar power generation in rural communities.”
Solar PV |
News published on 26 / 03 / 2012 by Bharat Vasandani