Tata Power, Rockefeller Foundation team up to launch 10,000 microgrids

Tata Power Renewables, the renewable power arm of Tata Power Ltd, has announced a new partnership with Rockfeller Foundation for setting up 10,000 microgrids that would help solve last-mile connectivity problems.

The microgrids will help boost access to affordable and reliable electricity to homes and enterprises across the nation’s vast rural areas. 
Tata Power will set up a new unit, TP Renewable Microgrid Ltd that will build the microgrids through 2026 that will serve nearly 5 million homes in India’s countryside and impact 25 million people, the two organizations said in a joint statement on Monday. 
The venture will become the world’s largest microgrid developer and operator, they added.
“The new venture, TP Renewable Microgrid, will address one of the most pervasive challenges by scaling up an innovative microgrid model to be implemented in collaboration with Smart Power India,” the joint release stated.
The partnership with Rockefeller Foundation will further vital innovations and solutions for last-mile electrification that can be transferred to underserved communities globally and spur Tata Power's efforts to end energy poverty, the release added.
In a world where over 800 million people lack access to dependable electricity, Tata Power believes the new partnership will help provide clean power to nearly 5 million households, directly impacting the lives of 25 million people, over the next decade.
This venture will also ensure lowering elective electricity costs and carbon emissions by 1 million tonnes per year.
This unique collaboration will amplify the Government of India's ongoing campaign to provide electricity to rural areas, unleashing the potential of renewable microgrids to serve households and businesses that suffer from poor reliability and coverage by traditional grid-based power.
TP Renewable Microgrid Ltd will be operated and managed by Tata Power, India's largest integrated power company with approximately 11,000 MW of installed generation capacity and over 2.6 million customers under management across Delhi, Ajmer and Mumbai.
The anticipated rollout of 10,000 grids will drastically expand the global microgrid footprint and will act as a catalyst for governments and the private sector to collaborate in building clean, resilient and stable grids in other markets. Smart Power India, which was launched by The Rockefeller Foundation in 2015, would provide technical expertise to the enterprise, having built microgrids that today provide clean, distributed electricity to more than 200 villages in rural India.
Though the government claims to have brought power to almost all its 1.3 billion population covering almost all homes, reliable power continues to elude citizens in rural communities. That’s partly because distribution utilities tend to lose money due to power theft and poor billing, resulting in regular supply curbs to contain those losses. 
This also leads some homes and enterprises to source energy from diesel generators, an expensive and polluting option, or forgo grid-connected power entirely.