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US announces $7.5 m to advance India’s power grid

PTI | Washington |

The US will provide $7.5 million to help advance India's power grid as part of their commitments to ensure access to affordable and reliable energy in both countries.

The Science and Technology Ministry and industry will match the commitment of US' Department of Energy, bringing the total commitment to $30 million, officials here said.

“This new consortium demonstrates the US and Indian commitments to ensuring access to affordable and reliable energy in both countries,” Energy Secretary Rick Perry said ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit here next week.

“We know that continued grid innovation will promote economic growth and energy security in the United States and India,” he said on 21 June.

The initiative, part of America's commitment to fostering the reliable, resilient and secure delivery of electricity, was needed for the strong US national security, economic growth and global leadership, as well as furthering Department of Energy (DOE)'s collaboration with India under the US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE), officials said.

The US-India collaboration for smart distribution system with storage (UI-ASSIST) was selected as the new consortia for Smart Grid and Energy Storage under the US-India Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center (JCERDC), the DOE said in a statement.

To help pave the way to a more advanced distribution grid that will allow greater use of distributed energy resources such as microgrids and energy storage, the new consortia will bring together experts from academia, DOE's national laboratories and industry, it said.

Together with their counterparts in India, the center will conduct research and deploy new smart grid and energy storage technologies that will modernise the grids of both the nations to make them “smarter”, while increasing resilience and reliability, the DOE said.

Through JCERDC, the US' world class installations and national laboratories will contribute their expertise and capabilities as India expands energy access to its remote areas, improves its grid reliability and resilience, and strengthens its energy security.

The US participants will gain insight from India's grid modernisation efforts a potential export market for US equipment worth billions of dollars    and promote researcher access to India's grid operational experience, it said.

UI-ASSIST's US team, led by Washington State University, is comprised of MIT, Texas A&M University, University of Hawaii, Idaho National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Snohomish County (WA) Public Utility District, Avista, Burns and McDonnell, ETAP Operation Technology, ALSTOM Grid/GE Grid Solutions, Clean Energy Storage, ABB, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).

The Indian team, led by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, includes partners from IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, IIT Roorkee, IIT Bhubaneshwar and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) New Delhi.