In response to a joint commitment on clean energy between the Indian and US governments, USTDA signs grants for infrastructure development

The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has signed two grants to support US business developments in India's clean energy infrastructure development.

These projects respond to the joint commitment made by President Obama and Prime Minister Singh in late 2009 to greatly expand energy efficiency and clean energy cooperation and to form a Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE).

The first grant will support a feasibility study for Azure Power, a private sector solar power developer based in India. The feasibility study will assess the development of a rural micro-grid solar power project that will bring electricity to remote villages in India. Azure Power aims to set up over 100 micro-grid solar systems, with each system covering an average of 2-3 acres of rural land with little or no connectivity to existing electrical grids.

The second grant will finance a feasibility study for CESC Limited for the implementation of smart grid technologies across their electricity distribution networks in Kolkata. The project will improve efficiency and energy reliability for its 2.5 million customers. The study will develop a smart grid pilot project as well as the requirements for broad implementation.

In addition to substantial improvements to India's clean energy infrastructure, successful implementation of these two projects could generate more than $250 million of exports for US companies. The opportunity to conduct the Azure Power and CESC feasibility studies will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website.

Henry Steingass, Regional Director for USTDA, signed the agreements during the visit of US Commerce Secretary John Bryson who was leading a 16 US companies on an infrastructure business development mission to New Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai. “India has ambitious energy infrastructure development goals. We are pleased to join this trade mission to support those goals, and to help open the market for U.S. clean energy technologies, which are among the best in the world,” Mr. Steingass remarked.

Indian utility companies are making heavy investments in clean energy infrastructure, and these grants will support those investments while opening the market up for the cutting edge technologies of US clean energy businesses, a statement issued by the US embassy said.