Here are some noteworthy cleantech announcements of the day from around the world:
Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) has decided to increase its shareholding in Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) through a fresh equity infusion of up to ₹4.25 billion (~$57.18 million). The proposal to infuse fresh equity was approved by the Board of Directors of PGCIL in its 394th Meeting held on August 10, 2021. EESL is a Joint Venture Company of PGCIL, NTPC, Power Finance Corporation, and Rural Electrification Corporation.
Microsoft Corporation inks power purchase agreement with Denmark-based power company Ørsted to buy power from Ørsted’s 430 MWac Old 300 Solar Center in Texas. Old 300 Solar Center (the solar project) is located in Fort Bend County, Texas. The solar energy center is expected to commence operations in Q2 2022. The project represents an investment of more than $400 million in the local community to benefit landowners, schools, and other community services for years to come via lease payments and property taxes.
Swedish solar developer Helios Nordic Energy has doubled its solar portfolio in the southern part of Sweden to 1 GW, adding ten projects totaling 500 MW to its portfolio. The 1 GW development portfolio was achieved six months earlier than planned when renewables investor Magnora AG made its investment in the company. Magnora owns 25% of the shares in Helios. The doubling of the portfolio ahead of schedule has sent Magnora’s share up 6%. Helios has sights on expanding the development pipeline to 2GW by the end of 2022.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has launched a loan interest subvention program in association with United Nations Industrial Development Organization and Global Environment Facility to provide financial assistance for innovative waste to energy biomethanation projects. The loan program provides financial assistance to beneficiaries to reduce the financial burden on account of interest on the loan component faced by such demonstration projects. A geographic information system-based inventory tool that provides district-level estimates of available urban and industrial organic wastes and their energy generation potential across India was also unveiled.
Supplier of fixed-tilt and tracker solar racking solutions GameChange Solar has completed a 394 MW Genius Tracker™ project in Gujarat for Tata Power. The solar plant is expected to supply clean solar power equivalent to powering 376,000 homes. More than 20% of the materials for the Genius Tracker™ was locally sourced, with the company announcing that all its future projects in India will have more than 50% of the parts locally sourced. The project had withstood the wrath of cyclone Tauktae during its construction in May 2021.
Cooking appliance manufacturer Stovekraft unveiled a captive solar PV rooftop system in its Bengaluru factory. The rooftop system features mono PERC 535/540Wp PV modules from JA Solar and inverters from Solis. Stovekraft estimates that this project will generate 50 million units of power per year and reduce its carbon footprint by 5000 tons. Stovekraft has partnered with Integrum Energy for building its renewable assets. According to the Managing Director of Stovekraft, the company envisages generating 80% of its energy requirement from renewables.
Ministry of Power issues an advisory to all Central Ministries to direct organizations under their administrative control to switch over to prepaid smart meters. The ministries have also been asked to issue all enabling orders in this regard. Ministry of Finance has issued a clarification enabling all Central Ministries and Departments to make advance payments for pre-paid metered electricity without insisting on any bank guarantees. The government had approved the Revamped Distribution Sector Program to make DISCOMs operationally efficient and financially sustainable. One of the interventions under the scheme is installing prepaid smart meters to all electricity consumers except agricultural consumers in a phased manner. Priority has been given to the prepaid smart meter installation in all government departments, including central and state governments, urban and rural local bodies, and government boards and corporations to ensure that the government departments properly budget and pay for the electricity services when used.
Arjun Joshi is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, he worked as a technical writer for enterprise resource software companies based in India and abroad. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Psychology, and Optional English from Garden City University, Bangalore. More articles from Arjun Joshi.