TATA POWER: Sustaining the Pioneering spirit in the pursuit of Innovation

Tata Power has been a pioneer in the Indian power sector value chain and has been at the forefront in assimilating advancements in technology and providing competitive, reliable and quality power to its consumers. The company has been constantly investing in  technology and innovative practices, thus remaining effective and efficient in its deliverables.

In an exclusive chat with Mr. Anil Sardana, the CEO & MD of Tata Power, we discuss about the current initiatives and the future endeavors at Tata Power. This Interview is sure to give you a whole new perspective and insight into one of the most decorated Energy Providers in the world.

  • Kindly brief us about Tata Power. Kindly sketch a brief history of Tata Power. What is the current Industry scenario from your point of view?

Buoyed by the vision of its founder, Late Shri Jamshetji N Tata, that clean, cheap and abundant power is one of the basic ingredients for the economic progress of a city, a state or a country, Tata Power began its operations in 1915 by commissioning India’s first large hydroelectric project in Khopoli, Maharashtra. Being a century old company, we are committed to providing our customers with reliable and uninterrupted power supply and other solutions, teamed with superior customer service. The company today touches the lives of every stakeholder by adding value to their lives through various initiatives. These initiatives seep down to the last beneficiary, be it employees, customers, communities surrounding our areas of operations, shareholders, investors, and the nation at large.

Tata Power currently has an installed gross generation operating capacity of 10,613 MW, of which, clean energy portfolio is 3141 MW, making us one of the largest non-fossil based energy players in India. Tata Power has reiterated its commitment to clean energy, and announced that its non-fossil fuel energy capacity will be 35-40 per cent by 2025. Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited (TPREL) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Power, and is the Company’s primary investment vehicle for clean and renewable energy based power generation capacity. Tata Power is present in the entire life-cycle of the power business viz. Fuel and Logistics, Generation (thermal, hydro, solar and wind), Transmission, Distribution and Trading. It has successful public-private partnerships in Generation, Transmission and Distribution in India. Besides India, it has operations in Africa, MENA region, and South-East Asia.

The industry scenario in India is bullish on renewable capacity buildup, whereas conventional thermal power may not see new builds in the recent times but may witness revamping of facilities for them to become environmentally benign. The sector may also see large scale distribution reforms.

  • On which innovation is Tata Power currently working on?

Tata Power is continuing its pioneering spirit by pursuing various innovative solutions in Decentralized Distributed Generation (DDG). DDG enables small-scale technologies to produce electricity close to the end users of power. The technologies used often consist of modular (often renewable-energy based) generators, offering potential benefits like providing electricity with higher power reliability and security, along with fewer environmental consequences than traditional power generators. The pioneering spirit is at the root of every Tata Power team member & the pursuit for innovative products, solutions, and business models will continue.

Tata Power has always set a standard in adopting sustainable practices in its business by using innovative technology, providing customers access to energy-efficient processes, increasing green generation capacity and partnering with institutions of scientific learning.

  • Kindly tell us about the green initiatives undertaken by Tata Power.

In the quest to deliver clean energy, we as a Company are focusing on building a robust renewable energy portfolio, scouting for clean sources of power, reducing our carbon footprint and investing in cleaner technologies and global resources.

Powered by Greenolution, Tata Power in 2015 launched ‘Be Green’ campaign following the mantra that green is the only way to evolve and has set new benchmarks by caring for the planet and its future. The campaign follows a holistic approach towards energy and resource conservation and encourages consumers to take the pledge by signing up to any five of their enlisted pledges.

In last few years, Tata Power has launched diverse DSM programs which include appliance exchange, load shift and energy audits. Some innovative programs like “Demand Response”, a smart grid solution and “Thermal storage”, a load shift solution were acknowledged at a national level. Tata Power is one of the earliest utilities in India to have embraced DSM programs in a wide spread manner.

  • How is Tata Power helping its customers to amass the benefits of its superior features?

For decades, Tata Power has been successfully supplying power to the country. We have built robust Private Public Partnerships with various entities and are proud to be the largest integrated power company in India. Notwithstanding competition and regulation, we believe that dealing ethically with stakeholders is the best policy and affirm to the adage, ‘honesty is the best policy’, and our stakeholders — be they consumers or government regulators — have applauded us for it.

Business ethics, corporate governance, sustainability, community relations, and being an employer of choice, along with providing clean, competitive, abundant, and uninterrupted power supply are Tata Power’s key tenets in building corporate character and trust in the marketplace. This commitment is steadfast and deep down in every employee and associate, and that’s what helps the team stay focused in pursuing its objectives.

  • What are the upcoming future prospects of Tata Power?

In line with the government’s objective towards promoting renewable energy, Tata Power has a well-defined growth plan and is pursuing actions towards achieving the same. The Company aims to build a total capacity of 20,000 MW by 2025. We are working towards achieving this target and, in FY17, we have added about 1400 MW of capacity with various projects in pipeline. For the next 3 years, the company has sketched out a well-defined plan to shape up its balance sheet, and is pursuing actions towards achieving the same. We wish to increase our solar & wind businesses significantly over a period of time; as the government is expected to bid out large scale projects to meet its target. We are exploring multiple options, both Greenfield and acquisitions, to be able to capture the market for Solar, Wind, and hydro based generation. The Company is also in the process of acquiring suitable land parcels in various states to support development of solar and wind projects.

  • Finally, can you brief us about your most successfully incorporated strategy, in terms of energy production and distribution, currently in the market?

In terms of energy production, a quick ramp up of non-fossil fuel capacity to 30% of portfolio has been a successful strategy. In distribution, turnaround of ailing state-owned enterprise in Delhi has been a well-executed strategy. Tata Power has recently signed a joint venture between Tata Power and the Government of NCT of Delhi with the majority stake being held by Tata Power Company (51%). The company started operations on July 1, 2002 post the unbundling of the erstwhile Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) and has been the frontrunner in implementing power distribution reforms in the capital city and is acknowledged for its consumer-friendly practices. Since privatization, the Aggregate Technical & Commercial (AT&C) losses in Tata Power-DDL areas have shown a record decline. Today, AT&C losses stand at 8.59%, which is an unprecedented reduction of around 84% from an opening loss level of 53% in July 2002.

Tata Power has recently signed a Distribution Franchisee Agreement (DFA) with Ajmer Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (AVVNL) to cater to the power requirements of customers in Ajmer by replicating this success story of Delhi.