January 15, 2018

Tata Power Delhi Distribution illuminates lives of thousands; brings Microgrid to remote rural village (Behlolpur) in Bihar

  • Initiative aims to accomplish the vision of providing universal access of electricity to every village in the country
  • Project supported by Tata Trusts, GE, MIT and Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre

Behlolpur (Vaishali) Bihar: Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (Tata Power-DDL), the country’s leading power distribution company which is supplying uninterrupted power to over 70lakh people in the national capital Delhi, has today inaugurated the second micro-grid project at Behlolpur, a riverine village in the Vaishali district of Bihar. The village has estimated 220 hutments with a population of about 1200 and was earlier completely un-electrified. The newly launched micro-grid project will provide reliable and quality power supply to the villagers by resourcefully using solar energy leading to enhancement in the quality of life, engagement of natives and introduction of financial advancement in and around the village.

Ravindra Kumar, sub-divisional magistrate, Manhar, Vaishali District, Bihar; Praveer Sinha, CEO and MD, Tata Power-DDL, along with Tata Trusts, GE, MIT, Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre inaugurating the Solar Microgrid project at Behlolpur, a riverine village in the Vaishali district of Bihar

The micro-grid was jointly inaugurated by Ravindra Kumar, sub-divisional magistrate, Mahnar, Vaishali District, Bihar; Praveer Sinha, CEO and MD, Tata Power-DDL; Brian Selby, vice president, licensing and technology, GE Ventures; Prof Ignacio J. Pérez Arriaga, MIT; Siddharth Gahoi, Tata Trust and Amod Kanth, Prayas, in the presence of other dignitaries and people of Vaishali.

The Project is in line with the Government of India’s Electrification program which aims to provide ‘electricity for all’. The project focuses on establishing a sustainable stand-alone off grid village electrification system where grid supply has not reached or is not feasible. Tata Trusts, GE, MIT, Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre have joined Tata Power-DDL to accomplish the vision of the program. The intent of partnership is to develop a self-sustaining rural micro-grid which help in improving the quality of life, empower citizen and usher in economic development in the associated areas.

Tata Power- DDL has supported the project by bringing together all the partners and providing for off-site requirements for the successful implementation of the micro-grid and also played a key role in the identification of the site, development of the project infrastructure, community engagement activities like setting up of women literacy centre etc.

GE has supported the project by providing a new hybrid power solution to supply high efficiency, reliable power to the villagers. The 12KW solar panels along with 48kWh battery set and 15kVA variable diesel generation set are integrated into the system and will be put up in the first phase followed by capacity addition after successful operation and increase in demand. The plant is also enabled for operational control and remote monitoring using a micro-grid controller built on GE’s Predix platform. Only maintenance charge for the micro-grid will be recovered from the villagers/ consumers through nominal monthly charges linked to their consumption and usage. The project is also having smart metering arrangement with load limiting facility available.

Inaugurating the micro-grid, Praveer Sinha, CEO and MD, Tata Power Delhi Distribution, said, “Rural Electrification is a key component for facilitating economic progress including meeting socio-economic goals and overall human development in the villages. Through this project we aim to develop a novel rural micro-grid model suitable to Indian conditions and support electrification which is affordable and sustainable resulting in affordable, reliable and consistent energy for all. We are proud to light up the lives of resident of Behlolpur and believe that through the project we will contribute our bit towards the Government of India vision of providing Electricity for all, especially to the people living in the remotest of areas of the country.”

Brian Selby, managing director, licensing and technology, GE Ventures, said, “An estimated 300 million people in India need access to reliable power. GE’s unique integrated solar-diesel-battery technology with advanced controls and industrial internet capability will eventually supply high-efficiency, reliable power to nearly 500 villagers in Bhelolpur village. The technology designed at GE’s Global Research Centre (GRC) Bangalore, India, is built as a scalable micro-grid model that can be easily and economically replicated and deployed across rural areas. We are proud to be the technology partners of this rural electrification initiative that is key to build livelihood and better infrastructure in our communities.”

The first micro-grid project was launched in Jan. 2017 at Tayabpur village in the Vaishali district of Bihar and is successfully providing electricity to 190 hutments with a population of around 1000 people.

Significant contribution of project partners:

Tata Trusts has supported with part of the capital cost for the project by providing funding for the plant site development and electrification network of the areas. This has been a great relief to the potential consumers in lowering the fixed cost of the project. Tata Trusts under its Energy Initiative focuses on enhancing access to sustainable energy to the underprivileged rural and tribal communities to enhance their livelihoods, as well as improving their quality of life.

MIT has developed the software for the Microgrid as an extension of the Reference Electrification Model (REM) integrated with Geographical Information System (GIS), which facilitates easy identification of potential area with population that does not have access to electricity. The model also helps to optimise the capacity of the micro-grid plant suitable for the consumer living with different levels of reliability, costs and power source mix.

Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre has worked on the implementation of the turnkey project and would be performing the day-to-day activity for the operation and maintenance of the micro-grid.