Praveer Sinha, the CEO and managing director of India's Tata Power, has unveiled ambitious plans to transform the energy company’s generation portfolio toward “clean and green” sources, in order to reach carbon neutrality before 2050.
Tata Power’s generation mix is dominated by coal-based thermal power capacity, even as it makes impressive gains in expanding its renewables assets. As of March 31, it had a total power generation capacity of 12,808 MW. Thermal accounts for 69% at 8,859 MW, followed by 1,762 MW of solar, 932 MW of wind, 880 MW of hydro and 375 MW of blast-furnace gas waste-heat recovery capacity.
To switch to clean energy, the company will avoid developing new coal-based capacity and will not acquire coal-based stressed assets. Its existing thermal fleet will be retired upon the end of plant life or the expiry of power purchase agreements, Tata Power has said.
As a staging post to net zero, the company intends to have 80% of its generation assets ‘clean and green’ this decade, up from 31% at the end of March, with Tata considering its gas-related waste heat capacity under that definition.
The Mumbai-based electric utility – part of the Tata Group – said it will add 2 GW of solar and hybrid-technology capacity every year to hit 25 GW within this decade, up from 4 GW three months ago. Microgrids will be an important part of the strategy, with Tata having commissioned 161 of them to date.
The company also plans to develop a portfolio of renewables technologies, including hybrid clean energy plants, offshore wind, floating solar, and hydrogen fuel. In addition, it has said that it will strengthen its battery storage partnerships.
Tata Power’s current renewables activity encompasses utility and rooftop solar EPC services, floating solar, microgrids, and hybrid systems. It also makes solar products such as pumps, modules and cells, and reverse-osmosis water purification devices.
Its Tata Power Solar Systems unit is India’s largest utility-scale solar EPC service provider. It has a presence in 11 Indian states and an order book of more than 2.8 GW.