Sunday, April 8, 2012

Two Smart Grid pilots to be implemented with USTDA grant

The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) recently announced two grants to support U.S business development in clean energy Infrastructure development. Henry Steingass, the regional director of USTDA signed the two agreement at the luncheon hosted by the U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson. "India has ambitious energy infrastructure development goals," stated Steingass. "We are pleased to join this trade mission to support those goals, and to help open the market for U.S. clean energy technologies, which are among the best in the world."

The grants are awarded to two private sector companies namely, Azure Power and CESC LTD. The solar power developer, Azure Power, will be given the first grant to carry out feasibility study for rural solar micro-grid that will bring electricity to remote villages which are off the grid. Azure power aims to develop 100 such micro-grid, which will be based on 2-3 acre of land with little or no connection to the existing electric grid. The second grant will be given to another private company CESC Ltd., which supplies  electricity to 2.5 million people in Kolkata. It will help CESC carry out feasibility study for implementing Smart Grid technologies to their entire electricity distribution system. The study will develop Smart Grid pilot project as well as broad implementation guidelines, which is top priority for CESC as it will help improve energy efficiency and reliability to their customer base. 

According to announcement, these projects are results of the joint commitment made by President Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh under the agreement of Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE). Apart from substantial benefit to India's clean energy mission, the successful implementation of this project has opportunities worth $250 million for the US companies. 

According to the press release, "The opportunity to conduct the Azure Power and CESC feasibility studies will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. A link to the FBO announcements will be posted on USTDA's website at Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement". 

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