In a feasibility study performed in 2016, the E4T team lead by STRI developed a roadmap for building sustainable pilot microgrids in the A&N Islands using the E4T microgrid concept. The E4T integrated and scalable microgrid concept is based on eco-electricity solutions with minimum environmental impact and maximum efficiency. The solution integrates innovative generation technologies such as solar PV and Stirling engines with state-of-the-art efficiency measures including central cooling, hot water, demand response, online monitoring and optimization. Pamoja Cleantech has now taken over the lead role for implementing the first pilots on the islands in collaboration with STRI, KTH and Indian partners; Cleanbios, Amrita University and Ahalia.
The pilot microgrid platforms ranging from 30 to 140 kW will be installed at two commercial hotels on Neil and Havelock islands and at the Science Demonstration Park in Port Blair. They will combine biomass gasification, Stirling CHP, solar photovoltaic and wind turbines with storage, central cooling and hot water generation as well as an innovative approach to load control (demand management).
The E4T vision is a completely fossil free electrical system on A&N islands. The microgrids will provide the islands with clean, sustainable and renewable energy for the hotel sector, and in continuation also homes and industries. The agricultural sector on the islands and especially local smallholder farmers will benefit from the microgrid developments via the sourcing of local agriculture residues and agroforestry based biomass for the gasification plants. The Indian pyro-gasifier technology will co-produce high quality biochar that can enhance soil health and productivity making the biomass supply regenerative and sustainable.
Both Swedish and Indian innovation and technology are applied within the microgrids, and participation of Indian partners and stakeholders on the islands is a corner-stone in the project. Additional services of the pilot microgrid platforms such as electric vehicles, grid balancing and thermally driven cooling are other possible applications that will be explored during the implementation phase.