New Delhi, Oct 23 – The Rockfeller Foundation, which has committed USD 50 million for mini power grids in India, is looking for public private partnerships to facilitate setting up of such projects, according to a senior official.
So far, the foundation has facilitated setting up of 106 mini power grids in as many villages and the larger aim is to have 1,000 such projects in less than three years.
The foundation, which works for betterment of human lives across the world, has set up Smart Power India, which is implementing the Smart Power for Rural Development (SPRD) programme.
“We have an overall target of getting to 1,000 villages and serving a million people. We want to get 1,000 mini grids in less than three years,” Deepali Khanna, who is Director (Smart Power for Rural Development) at the foundation told PTI.
Noting that about half of the total amount of USD 50 million committed to India has been spent, she said they are now looking for Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) as well as additional funds.
Generally, a mini grid is defined as a system that uses a renewable energy-based generator having a capacity of 10 kilowatt or more to supply electricity through a public distribution network.
Under the foundations efforts, currently there are 106 mini grids in three states operating through seven private sector companies.
Smart Power India is helping these companies on various fronts, including setting up their plants and put in place an effective business model.
“Right now, we are working in Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh but around public private partnership we also want to look at Rajasthan…,” Khanna said, adding that it is also looking at a range of business models along with the private sector.
For mini grids, the foundation is looking at solar power as well as electricity generated from hybrid sources — a mix of solar and biomass.
“What we are trying is that as we get the state governments excited about PPP models, we will build a range of models that will give private sector lot of confidence in bidding for and that becomes a win win situation for both sides,” Khanna said.
India expects to meet around 40 per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030.