- Gurgaon is being developed to have a smart grid powered by solar systems and wind power, which is supposed to end frequent power outages and also put an end to using diesel gensets
- The removal of diesel gensets should help reduce air pollution
- Prosumers will be encouraged to feed excess solar power into the grid, thereby cutting down on their power bills
- The state government of Haryana has received a grant of $40.66 million, 20% of the total investment of $205.8 million needed in the first phase
Home to many multinational corporations in India, Gurgaon is planned to become the first diesel-genset free city in the country. Instead, it is aimed at getting electricity from a full-scale smart grid, which will integrate new energy sources as solar and wind along with traditional sources of power, allowing for interoperability of consumers and utilities.
A report in the Indian business daily The Times of India stated on July 12, 2016 that the city has secured a grant of 2.73 billion INR ($40.66 million) for the first phase from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). This is 20% of the total investment of 13.82 billion INR ($205.8 million) needed for the first phase. The entire project cost is estimated to be 120 billion INR ($1.79 billion). According to the report, the state government will make a matching contribution, with the remaining amount coming from the Power System Development Fund.
A December 2015 report in the same paper had stated that 14% of the city’s power needs are fulfilled by diesel gensets. These are used in case of power outages, a phenomenon quite common in the Millennium City, as Gurgaon is sometimes referred to as. These have been increasingly adding to air pollution in the city.
With a smart grid in place, rooftop solar system owners will be encouraged to feed surplus power back to the grid during day time under a net metering scheme and drawing the same at night, thereby taking on the role of prosumers. The grid will have integrated communications and control capabilities with all the cabling going underground.
Under the first phase, areas that use most of the power will be covered including Sector 1 to 57, covering DLF, Sohna Road, South City, Maruti, IDC, Qadipur and New Colony. The Second phase will see Sector 58 to 115 being covered and in the third phase, the area of IMT Manesar will be taken in.
The Power Grid Corporation of India Limited, a state-owned entity, has already floated the tender for the smart grid project. The winning bid will have to complete the project within 18 months. The smart grid project was first announced in April 2015, but the tender for the same was never opened and it is now expected to be opened on July 22, 2016. The report categorically stated that this announcement of an 18-month deadline is six months over the previous one.
Gurgaon recently achieved a cumulative solar power capacity of 12 MW, and aims to increase the number to 20 MW by August 2016. This is part of the overarching target of 3,200 MW of solar power that Haryana is aiming to achieve by 2022, which includes 1,600 MW of PV rooftop capacity.