Category — Electricity

Many Countries Evince Interest in India’s Proposed Smart Cities

During the Smart Cities India 2015 Expo in New Delhi from May 20 – 22, many countries expressed keenness in investing in the Indian Government’s smart cities project. Poland expressed interest in partnering with India’s smart cities and industrial corridors, exploring investments in power and mining sectors in many Indian states. Sweden and the European Business &Technology Center hosted pavilions.

Under the Indian government’s 100 smart cities program, approved by the Cabinet last month, each selected city will receive federal assistance of $16 million  annually for five years, reports CIOL.

“Urbanization in India is happening at an accelerating rate. By 2031, the population in the urban areas will increase to 600 million from current 377 million. This will boost the increase in the middle class section of the society that will generate larger aspirations seeking better quality of life and sustainable ecosystem. Smart cities concept would require enormous knowledge transfer to devise solutions that are suitable for the Indian scenario” shared B.V.R. Mohan Reddy, chairman, NASSCOM, India.

May 31, 2015   No Comments

Indian Government Opens Bidding for 3 GW of Solar Projects

India’s National Solar Mission seeks to deploy 20 gigawatts of grid-connected projects by 2022 in three phases. Currently, it plans to open up competitive bidding to add 3 gigawatts of grid-connected solar power projects.

According to the draft, the minimum recommended project size is 10 megawatts, and the guidelines further suggest that companies can bid through state governments at a fixed 25-year tariff. The lowest quoted tariff would qualify for selection. NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd., the power-trading unit of India’s largest utility, may purchase the electricity produced.

January 9, 2015   No Comments

Modi’s “ambitious vision” for Nuclear Energy

Indian Prime Minister Modi and Russian President Putin signed an agreement whereby Russia plans to build a number of  new nuclear power plants in India, cooperate in the joint extraction of uranium and in the production of nuclear fuel and waste elimination.

Modi said that the two countries had set out an “ambitious vision” for nuclear energy during the talks and that the new reactors would be built over the next 20 years.

December 21, 2014   No Comments

Localizing to Specific Customer Needs Spells Success for Cummins India

Located  42 miles from Pune in the state of Maharashtra is a village of rice growers, who for many decades had to trek to a neighboring village to get their raw rice de-husked because their village did not have the power supply to run the dehusking machine.

Enter Cummins Inc., or rather the Indian subsidiary of the Indiana-based engine and generator maker.

In 2011, Cummins Power Generation worked with the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, and non-profit Maharashtra Arogya Mandal to develop a generator that ran on biofuel generated by the oilseeds of the Pongamia tree. This innovation was used to power the village’s own electric de-husker. “If you have to understand how Indian this company is and how specifically we tailor our products to the needs of our customers, this is it,” said Anant J. Talaulicar, chairman and managing director of Cummins India Ltd.

This anecdote explains why the maker of fuel systems and power generation equipment (among other products) has emerged as a rare example of a successful manufacturer in India, making products for both domestic and overseas markets.

There are four boxes that a company must check to demonstrate whether it has been successful in an overseas destination:

  • Has the company been able to use the country as a market for its products?
  • Has it been able to use the country as a production base, to manufacture for the market and the rest of the world?
  • Has it been able to use it as a sourcing base?
  • Has the company used the country as an engineering base, to design and develop products?

Cummins checks all the boxes.

While most multinational corporations get hand-me-downs in terms of technology from their parent, Cummins does a significant part of its R&D work in India. Cummins Research and Technology India Ltd, a division set up in 2003 does analysis-led design work that reduces cycle time for new product development and minimizes time involved in physical prototype testing. In fact, Cummins is setting up an advanced technical center in Pune that will house about 2,000 engineers and is expected to come up by September 2015. “Only about 15% of that work will be targeted for the domestic economy. The rest will be for global purposes,” said Talaulicar.

When India moved from to Stage II to Stage III fuel emission norms, several automobile manufacturers installed electronically controlled engines, but Cummins created a lower-cost mechanical solution which Tata Motors used very successfully.

“Today we have significant engineering skills in the country and we are completely integrated into Cummins global engineering network in terms of the reporting relationships. Information system is seamless. We don’t simply take global technology and force-fit them for India. We significantly customize products and localize heavily,” added Talaulicar.

Localizing sourcing and making products according to the specific needs of customers is a complex business. Talaulicar, though, believes that it is inevitable because the nature of the Indian market is very different compared with other parts of the world.

November 25, 2014   No Comments

Kudankulam Nuclear Plant to Begin Full Commercial Production in January

Kudankulam Atomic Power Project

Commercial operations of the first 1,000 MW unit of the Kudankulam nuclear power project situated in the state of Tamil Nadu near the southern tip of India, are now likely to start by January 22, 2015, as an earlier deadline could not be met due to technical problems.

Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC) had earlier planned to start commercial operations in September. However, it reported that, “while raising power, an increase in turbine thrust bearing temperature was observed, and the temperature touched operational limits on reaching a power level of 850 MW.”

“For attending to the technical problem, the turbine generator was taken off the bar and the reactor was shut down on September 26, 2014,” the company informed the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC). The turbine high pressure casing is being dismantled so that experts from the Russian manufacturer can identify and address the problem.

NPC has received permission from CERC to resolve the technical problem relating to the turbine by January 22, 2015. CERC has approved injecting infirm power into the grid for the commissioning tests including full load test of the first unit. Infirm power refers to supply that is not committed and mainly fed into the grid as part of testing purposes.

Successful testing of the reactor, turbine-generator, feed water pump systems and the control and protection systems of different transients are mandatory per the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, before the commercial operation date of the project is declared.


November 21, 2014   No Comments