Tata Power: A unique integrated play

When it comes to power, it is important to look at the holistic picture – from availability of resources to consumer usage. The challenge is that India is looking at power sector development in silos and not holistically. The result is that ambitious targets are set without considering the factors for achieving these.

For Tata Power, the challenge lies in ensuring that all aspects of the business generation, transmission and distribution are in sync, because a small disjoint anywhere will affect its growth.

The Company’s strategy has long established it as India’s largest integrated private power player with presence across the power value chain. From Fuel and Logistics to Generation and Transmission to Distribution and Trading to even exploring renewable sources of energy, Tata Power now has a significant presence in all parts of the power value chain including a significant international presence.

The Company has more than a million customers in Delhi and the largest power generation capacity in Mumbai and now headed to be the largest distributor in Mumbai. Its trading arm is also doing very well. The Company is involved in three successful Public Private Partnership (PPP) ventures for the 400kV transmission line between Bhutan and Delhi, Distribution venture in Delhi and generation station at Maithon. No other private player has this exposure.

The Company is also a pioneer in technology in the power sector. It brought one of the first hydro-electric station to India, introduced the 150 MW and 500 MW frame to the country, and now, in another first, its bringing the 800 MW frame based on super-critical technology to the country.

It is also bringing the first 4000 MW Ultra Mega Power Project in Mundra which will demonstrate its capabilities in state-of-the-art supercritical technology. It puts Tata Power on par with the most advanced technology holders worldwide and puts it in a league of specialists able to set up power projects anywhere. Mundra has also given the Company an integrated perspective. This is the first time that a power project has been integrated so completely with the back end ¯ right from engaging the mines supplying the coal to the shipping, ferrying coal and having own receiving port here handling imported coal. It has a participatory stake at all levels.

This is an example of how integrated planning should be done to ensure reliability. There are very few players, even globally, with these capabilities, which differentiate us from the competition.

The Tata Power vision is to achieve a generation capacity of 25,000 MW by 2017, which involves adding about 2,500-3,000 MW every year. Along with thermal projects, the Company also has a strong presence in the renewable energy sector. The Company has partnership with Royal Government of Bhutan for 115 MW Dagacchu hydel project and is setting up hydro projects in Himachal Pradesh (250MW) and Sikkim (300MW) with SN Power, Norway.

Tata Power is the only Indian player in geothermal energy, setting up a 250 MW project in Indonesia and has an investment in a geothermal Company called Geodynamics in Australia. It is one of the largest wind (273 MW) and solar energy (4 MW) producer in the country; and is expected to produce almost 500 MW wind energy by the end of the year, and produce more than 35 MW solar energy at its solar plants in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

It has come up with innovative solar power solutions addressing the problem of extensive land occupation for high capacities ¯ one option is to use large industrial shed roofs; the other is to put up flotilla solar panels on  lake water surfaces. Its first floating solar plant is coming up in collaboration with Australian company Sunengy, at Mulshi, Maharashtra. Such initiatives indicate the extent of its commitment to sustainability and innovation.

The other interesting development is its foray into new international geographies such as Bhutan, Indonesia and Australia. It is also looking at growth through acquisitions in Africa and West Asia and at opportunities for providing integrated power solutions, as for instance, on private islands or new large townships.

While Tata Power has ambitious growth plans, it’s committed to ‘responsible growth’. From focusing on producing clean and green power to investing and implementing eco-friendly technologies; reducing carbon footprint to joining global initiatives to combat climate change; scouting for clean power sources internationally to driving energy conservation and efficiency; creating sustainable livelihood for communities to green buildings and villages; the Company is doing all that it can to carry forward its green legacy.

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