Whitefield Tower clean energy project in India
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Bloom Energy, real estate developer Atelier Global, India’s natural gas companies GAIL (India) Limited and Indian Oil Corporation, and representatives of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, recently announced a first-of-its-kind commercial development in Bangalore that will be powered by clean reliable electricity generated on-site using natural gas.

Atelier has conceptualised Whitefield Tower, a business-hospitality development offering premium offices, two levels of retail areas, a 60-room boutique hotel, high-end co-working spaces, shared services for business and social offerings including media, art and exhibition spaces.

The development will feature 87,000 sq ft floor plates, large spans measuring 15 m, central core design, 4.5 m heights and 100% daylight harvesting. The building has double skinned facades with shading louvers to avoid glare and heat.

Atelier plans for 1 MW of power for the development to be provided by Bloom Energy Servers running on natural gas provided by GAIL.

The Bloom Energy Server is said to be the world’s most efficient commercially available electricity generation device. It produces power without combustion through an electrochemical process, which generates virtually no smog-forming emissions. Bloom Energy Servers can operate using natural gas, biogas from landfills, food or animal waste, or hydrogen as fuel.

The Bloom Energy Server at Whitefield Tower is believed to be the first natural gas-powered solid oxide fuel cell project in India since the launch of the US-India Gas Task Force. The task force was established by Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dhamendra Pradhan and US 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% to 15% by 2030.

“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 maximise the return on our LNG investments.”

In contrast to electricity delivered via the electrical grid, 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% lower greenhouse gas emissions than the Indian grid. Because they are fuelled by underground natural gas pipelines, they are dramatically less susceptible to outages than electricity sources that rely on overheard wires. As a result, customers who use Bloom Energy Servers around the world are able to reduce or eliminate their reliance on dirty back-up power.