Bloom Energy makes inroads in India

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Bloom Energy, real estate developer Atelier Global, natural gas company GAIL (India) Limited and Indian Oil Corporation, and representatives of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, announced a first-of-its-kind commercial real estate development in Bangalore.

The development will be powered by electricity generated on-site using natural gas and a Bloom fuel cell server.

Atelier conceptualized Whitefield Tower, a business-hospitality development with a 60 room boutique hotel, high-end co-working spaces, shared services for business and social offerings that “fill-in-the-city-gaps” including media, art and exhibition spaces.

The building has double-skinned façades with shading louvers to avoid glare and heat.

Atelier plans to have one megawatt of power for the development to be provided by Bloom Energy Servers running on natural gas provided by GAIL.

Bloom fuel cells are assembled in Newark.

The Bloom Energy Server development at Whitefield Tower is the first natural gas-powered solid oxide fuel cell project in India since the launch of the U.S.-India Gas Task Force. The task force was established by Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dhamendra Pradhan and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry in April 2018 to support the Indian government’s goal to increase the share of natural gas in India’s energy mix from 6.5 percent to 15 percent by 2030.

The World Bank has reported that India loses approximately 4 percent of its GDP due to distortions in the power sector that impact both human health and business productivity.

The task force has proposed ways to encourage more fuel cell projects to improve power reliability and enhance air quality throughout India. India relies heavily on coal for its generating capacity.

“We are excited to offer a clean energy alternative to India that aligns with the country’s ambitious goals to increase electricity generated from natural gas,” said Venkat Venkataraman, chief technology officer of Bloom Energy. “With the right regulatory environment, India can proliferate this type of technology and deliver a plentiful supply of clean, reliable electricity to keep its economy booming.”

“The Whitefield Tower development is a fine example of the potential of natural gas power to transform electricity generation in India,” said Shri Bhuwan Chandra Tripathi, former Chairman and Managing Director of GAIL. “India will for the foreseeable future rely on imported LNG, which makes it critical that we have access to the most efficient, state-of-the-art technology like Bloom Energy Servers to maximize the return on our LNG investments.”

Bloom Energy Servers generate power on-site, and can operate independently of the grid. Bloom Energy Servers run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with 60 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions than the Indian grid. Because they are fueled by underground natural gas pipelines, they are dramatically less susceptible to outages than electricity sources that rely on overheard wires.

Bloom has more than 600 customer deployments in the US, Japan, Korea and India. Bloom Energy has previously announced the US technology company Intel has deployed Bloom Energy Servers to meet the power needs of its growing Bengaluru campus.

A 3.5 megawatt deployment integrated with Intel’s smart and green building design providing reduced carbon dioxide emissions, delivered higher power quality, and a reliable solution for the campus electric supply. Carbon dioxide emissions levels were reduced by nearly 65 percent, as compared to the displaced grid generation supply and previously required back-up diesel generation, supporting Intel’s sustainability program.

Bloom Energy was founded and is led by CEO KR Sridhar, an entrepreneur originally from India. Bloom Energy employs 300 in India.

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