ABB, a Swedish-Swiss multinational corporation, has announced the successful commissioning of the country’s first industrial solar microgrid at its Vadodara manufacturing facility, located in the western state of Gujarat.
Microgrids with integrated battery energy storage offer industrial and business establishments a viable solution to mitigate planned and unplanned power outages that negatively affect their operations. A significant and attractive benefit of using microgrids is the reduction in overall operational costs and reduced spend on electricity bills.
The microgrid’s rooftop photovoltaic field and its battery energy storage system will support the factory’s productivity and enable green power supplies in the evening hours or during cloudy periods during the day.
“The microgrid is the first of its kind to be installed at a manufacturing campus in India and will harness the area’s abundant solar energy supply to help the expanding factory meet its growing electricity needs, while lowering its carbon footprint,” the company stated in a media release.
The Vadodara factory is ABB’s largest facility in India with a workforce of over 3,000 employees. The company recently opened a smart factory designed to produce electrical safety and energy efficiency products in Karnataka’s capital city of Bengaluru.
ABB manufactures critical power equipment like transformers, high voltage products, distribution relays, motors, generators, and turbochargers at the Vadodara facility. The facility’s carbon footprint is now expected to be reduced by around 1,400 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
“Growth demands power and access to clean, reliable electricity sits at the heart of India’s economic development,” said Claudio Facchin, President of ABB’s Power Grids Division, in the media statement.
In January 2018, Mercom had reported about the government’s efforts to promote solar microgrids in the country. Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Union Minister of Power R.K. Singh had then apprised the House that 63 solar microgrids totaling 1,899 kWp have been installed in the country so far.
Off-grid solar is the solution to secure reliable electricity for vast portions of the country, and both multinationals and the government are supporting the off-grid solar segment through policies and funding.
Off-grid solar has a bright future in the relatively under-developed regions of the country as it is difficult to provide grid power to remote areas where the topography is challenging to deploy power transmission infrastructure.
Image credit: ABB