Tata Power expands solar business and manufacturing capacity

net metering and solar
Image credit: Stock

Indian-based utility Tata Power has launched several initiatives to expand its presence in the solar market.

These efforts are likely to help the utility to take advantage of opportunities within the solar market in a bid to expand its revenue streams, improve customers services as well as to decarbonise its utility operations.

The initiatives include Tata Power expanding its production capacity for solar modules and cells. The energy firm through its subsidiary Tata Power Solar Systems Limited has expanded its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Bengaluru, taking the total production capacity of cells and modules to 1,100 MW. 

The Bengaluru plant meets manufacturing standards set by the International Organisation for Standardisation and has been in operation for the past 25 years.

The expansion increases the plant’s manufacturing capacity of cells from 300 MW to 530 MW and of modules from 400 MW to 580 MW.

The need to expand its manufacturing capabilities follows Tata Power recording an increase in the demand of its solar modules and cells. Moreover, the anticipated increase in solar cells and modules following the launch of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, as the Indian government seeks to make the country a manufacturing hub and lessen its dependency on other countries for solar equipment.

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Solar deployment and education

In mid-2020, despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19 in regard to solar projects deployment, Tata Power managed to expand its portfolio to generate 36% of its total energy generation capacity from renewables.

This May, Tata Power, in partnership with India Smart Grid Forum and Australian technology firm Power Ledger, launched a first-of-its-kind peer-to-peer solar energy trading project in Delhi. The project falls under efforts by the utility to leverage emerging technologies to optimise its services, offer innovative and new services to its customers, and to ensure increased participation of consumers in solar energy programmes.

This follows Tata Power embarking on a collaboration with consultancy firm Wunderman Thompson India to launch digital and print ad campaign ‘SOLAROOF’. The campaign will promote the adoption of solar amongst Indian residential, commercial and business customers as the most sustainable and economical solution to their energy needs.

The campaign will be featured across multiple media in 31 Indian cities.

The utility is only building its portfolio of solar assets but also helping other utilities to expand their programmes. In March, Tata Power secured a contract with Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) to develop a 60 MW solar project in the state of Gujarat.

Tata Power has also signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with GUVNL for the the development and supply of energy generated from the plant.

The project will generate 156 MUs of energy and offset approximately 156 Million Kg of carbon emissions per annum.

Dr. Praveer Sinha, Tata Power chief executive, said his firm is “thankful to the Government of Gujarat and the officials at GUVNL for this opportunity. With this award the cumulative capacity under development in Gujarat would be 580 MW. We are delighted to contribute towards the realisation of our country’s commitment towards clean and green energy through solar power generation.”

With this award, Tata Power’s renewable capacity will increase to 4,007 MW, out of which 2,687 MW is operational and 1,320 MW is under implementation.

Tata Power is also part of the International Solar Alliance, an initiative designed to scale up solar energy and to reduce the cost of solar power generation through the aggregation of demand for solar finance, technologies, innovation, research and development, and capacity building.

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