India Gets First Renewable Energy Smart Mini-Grid System

  • Posted on: 4 July 2011
  • By: chw staff

Minister of New & Renewable Energy, Dr. Farooq Abdullah and Minister of Power, Shri Sushilkumar Shinde jointly commissioned the India’s first of its kind Renewable Energy Based Smart Mini-Grid System at TERI Retreat in Gurgaon today. The system has been developed with the support from the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy. Speaking on the occasion Dr. Farooq Abdullah said that India needs to tap all sources of energy in order to meet its growing demand for power. He said that the country must have strong safeguards so that it gets the best technology and also develops it indigenously. Shri Sushilkumar Shinde said that renewable energy is important as it reaches unreachable areas. He said that smart mini-grids will be very useful for stand-alone projects in villages and inaccessible areas. Secretary, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy Shri Deepak Gupta and Director General, TERI Dr. R.K. Pachauri were also present on the occasion.

A Smart Mini-Grid (SMG), or Micro-Grid, is an intelligent electricity distribution network, operating at or below 11 KV, where the energy demand is effectively and intelligently managed by diverse range of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) such as solar PV, micro-hydro power plants, wind turbines, biomass, small conventional generators such as diesel gensets etc in combination with each other through smart control techniques.

Globally, managing existing energy resources and demand in an optimal and efficient manner has become the need of the hour. Enhancing energy-security and energy-access, particularly in emerging economies is one of the major challenges that one has to deal with. Smart grid has been evolved as one of the solutions to tackle these challenges. Advanced sensing, communication and control technologies are used in smart grids these days for not only generation and transmission of power but also distribution and utilization of electricity in a more intelligent and effective manner.

Such an application will not only foster the effective inter-connection and utilization of multiple renewable energy resources but would also help in advancing access to energy to the last mile in the most optimum way by improving the efficiency of the overall system. The Smart Mini-Grid system has a great potential in large commercial and industrial complexes, hospitals, shopping malls/ complexes, apartments, residential complexes, educational institutions, remote un-electrified as well as electrified locations to ensure maximum flexibility, reliability and safety.

The project was sanctioned to TERI under the aegis of Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APPCDC) in March, 2009 with the contribution of Rs.87 lakhs from the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy. The project was completed with the technical collaboration of the Solar Energy centre under the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy. The smart mini grid has been deployed at TERI Retreat building in which 3.2 kW wind generator, 10.5 kW solar PV power, 1 kW thin film, 2 kW SPV systems, 100kW biomass gasifier and diesel generator have been integrated to demonstrate optimal evacuation of renewable power.