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USTDA awards two clean energy grants on trade mission to India

New Delhi, Mon, 26 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar.26 (ANI): The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) on Monday signed two grants to support U.S. business developments in India'slean energy infrastructure development.

Henry Steingass, Regional Director for USTDA, signed the agreements at a luncheon hosted by U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson.

Secretary Bryson is in India leading 16 U.S. companies on an infrastructure business development mission to New Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai.

"India has ambitious energy infrastructure development goals," stated Steingass.

He added: "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."

India's growing population and rapid economic expansion are placing a strain on the country's energy infrastructure. Approximately 400 million people do not have grid connectivity, while many households in electrified villages do not have access to grid supply. Growing demand is increasing the frequency of power outages in urban areas as well.

In response to these challenges, 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 U.S. clean energy businesses.

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 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.

H.S. Wadhwa, COO of Azure Power, will sign this grant, and Azure Power Manager for Business Development Rajni Bhandari will witness.

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, India.

The project is a top priority for CESC, and 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. CESC Executive Director Dilip Kumar Sen will sign the grant on behalf of CESC, and Vice President Aniruddha Basu will witness.

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).

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 U.S. companies. (ANI)

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