The solar photovoltaic (PV) system was designed by the US- and Mumbai-based Institute for Transformative Technologies (ITT) and is to be tested by private-sector Indian energy services companies TARA Urja, Mlinda and OMC Power.
ITT said field trials will be rolled out between now and October in several villages of around 200 households and commercial loads as well as 10-12 microbusinesses.
The mini-grids will feature metering and load management systems along with a revenue management system and remote monitoring and control. ITT said it will also test new energy storage solutions and efficient appliances.
The project aims to address issues with mini-grid construction, where components are sourced from multiple vendors and may not play well with others, increasing system costs and reducing performance.
The ‘utility in a box’ aims to reduce overall system costs as well as improving efficiency and ease of installation.
In reference to India’s target of installing 10,000 mini-grids within five years, ITT said it hopes to show that the systems can be scaled on a sustainable basis.