NEW DELHI: Tata Power Delhi Distribution (TPDDL) plans to set up two pilot solar microgrids in Bihar in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, General Electric and Tata Trust.
With this, the company is exploring a viable business model for distributed electricity generation and electrification of remote areas.
“This project aims to develop a novel solar microgrid model with a decision support tool suitable to our Indian environment and support universal electrification,” the company’s managing director Praveer Sinha said. “We hope through implementation of this project we will have a model for installing and developing microgrid in the country which will be affordable, sustainable with universal applicability, helping us to reach remote rural areas.”
The company identified two villages in Bihar — Tayabpur and Behlolpur in Vaishali district — after a detailed study.
The study was conducted to estimate the number of households in each village and total population, along with road network, average per capita income and willingness to pay for electricity. The Behlolpur village is situated on an island in river Ganges.
The model will help in identification of suitable locations for electrification based on various factors such as estimated consumer base, location and present reach of electricity grid.
The proposal envisages setting up of two 15 KWp solar projects in Tayabpur and Behlolpur village in the first phase, followed by capacity addition after operation and increase in demand.
“As part of this demonstration project, we are planning to supply and install this microgrid through investment of TPDDL and other associated partners,” Sinha said. Only maintenance charge for the microgrid will be recovered from the villagers through nominal monthly charges, he said.
Data available on the power ministry’s Garv dashboard showed that of the targeted 18,452 villages 3,596 villages remain unelectrified. The leftover villages are mostly in tough terrains such as left-wing extremism affected areas, forest or riverine areas, flood-affected areas and hilly or remote areas, and may require distributed generation mechanisms for electrification.