NEW DELHI, INDIA – During his remarks at the U.S.-India Business Council Summit, President Obama announced “a series of U.S. initiatives that will generate more than $4 billion in trade and investment with India and support thousands of jobs in both of our countries.” These initiatives include the U.S. Trade and Development Agency’s efforts to catalyze nearly $2 billion in capital for priority renewable energy projects in India.
As part of those efforts, USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak signed a grant agreement with IL&FS Energy Development Company to partner on the development of innovative Wind Integrated Solar Photovoltaic Energy Storage (WISES) projects. IL&FS Energy, one of the largest wind independent power producers in India, is evaluating the development of integrated wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) projects with energy storage, to enable the supply of dispatchable utility-scale renewable energy to meet the Indian grid system’s needs. As India continues to place greater emphasis on renewable energy utilization from the climate change and energy security perspectives, this timely project will demonstrate how its grid can absorb large penetration of variable wind and solar PV generation.
President Obama also announced that “on this visit, we’ve paved the way to mobilize American expertise and investment” in three of the smart cities that India is planning to develop. Indeed, Director Zak signed agreements with three Indian state governments to mobilize U.S. industry expertise and technologies to modernize the cities of Ajmer (Rajasthan), Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) and Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh). Under these Memoranda of Understanding, USTDA plans to sponsor activities such as feasibility studies, pilot projects and reverse trade missions that will help each state develop its smart cities.
For example, the Agency intends to invite state and central government officials to the United States for a Smart Solutions for Smart Cities reverse trade mission in 2015. The visit will introduce the delegates to U.S. technologies, solutions and best practices that can support the development of safe, efficient and integrated energy, transportation and communications infrastructure.
USTDA has long been committed to helping deploy smart energy solutions in cities across India. In fact, the Agency’s investments are currently promoting lower-carbon growth in four of India’s seven largest cities by introducing “smart grid” technologies and solutions that can improve the quality and supply of power for millions of Indian customers. As part of these efforts—and in connection with India’s Smart Grid Week—USTDA will host a Smart Grid Workshop in Bangalore, India on March 2, 2015. Building upon a prior workshop in the United States last December, the event will bring together U.S. and Indian companies, utilities and regulators to discuss innovative solutions to India’s energy challenges.
USTDA’s grant to IL&FS Energy will provide technical assistance to assess the technical, financial and commercial viability of renewable energy storage technologies for the WISES projects. The opportunity to conduct the USTDA-funded technical assistance will be competed through Federal Business Opportunities (FBO). A link to the FBO announcement will be posted to USTDA’s website at www.ustda.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement.