Ahead of the Paris Climate Change summit in December 2015, the Indian government had announced its target of achieving 175 GW of renewable power by 2022, out of which 100 GW is expected from solar and the remaining 75 GW from renewable energy sources.
To achieve this ambitious target of 100 GW solar power, 500 MW is expected to be contributed by 10,000 new micro/mini-grids. This is the where Doorastha Analytics aims to create a niche.
Launched in 2016, the company was founded by Shyamal Datta, Atanu Mukerji, Amitabh Singhal and Suneel Gupta. Currently incubated at the government-funded Electropreneur Park, New Delhi, Doorastha Analytics is looking to address the issues faced by the users in largely rural areas who have lesser access to electricity from various types of sources such as gensets and or even solar-powered micro grids.
Renewable energy micro grids typically serve anywhere between 40 and 100 end customers. Amitabh reveals that while there are sophisticated performance monitoring solutions in the market, they mostly address the needs of large scale and big budget renewable energy projects. Doorastha Analytics has built a cost-effective, comprehensive solution for smaller scale micro/mini-grid operators – iLUMY, a solar power grid-monitoring solution aimed at improving their performance and revenue output.
iLUMY comprises wireless and IoT-enabled meters, routers, grid controllers, mobile application and web based monitoring module that will effectively monitor energy consumption, pre-load specific amounts of energy units for consumption and provide timely warning of diminishing units to enable timely prepaid activation.
“The end customer develops trust and this eliminates billing disputes because he can monitor his usage 24x7 and pay for what he consumes,” adds Amitabh.
Doorastha also works with rural entrepreneurs under a BOM (Build, Operate & Maintain) model for meeting rural electrification requirements with solar micro grids, a better alternative to diesel generator based power that is expensive and limited in supply for rural markets and village homes. The brand is also planning to set up its own solar powered based micro/mini grids, embedded with iLUMY Network Intelligence solution. Amitabh reveals that the company has installed its first micro grid in a district in UP.
“Once we reach a certain scale with micro-grids we will use it as a pivot to set up mini grids, which are higher capacity plants than micro grids. Over a period of time, with our ilUMY Network Intelligence platform, we should create an industry-standard analytics Platform as a Service for the burgeoning Solar Micro/Mini Grids industry sector,” Amitabh says.
The first version of iLUMY is ready and is being launched this month. Amitabh reveals that subsequent upgraded versions will follow soon. The startup has received a grant of Rs 3 lakh from Electropreneur Park for purchasing equipment and hopes to raise funds soon.
In terms of generating revenue, Doorastha will set up a large number of micro grids to begin with and energy access fee in the pay-as-you-go model will be its primary revenue source. It is also eyeing to derive revenues by providing iLUMY solution and services to other grid owners, operators and investors.
Amitabh highlights that the idea of Doorastha evolved primarily from the innovation of iLUMY as a solution which includes both hardware and software components and uses wireless, IoT solutions to deliver its performance.
“The iLUMY solution will be abreast with the developments in the technologies it uses, and focusing on what the customer needs, our solution will keep on evolving to keep pace with the latest trends and stay ahead of the curve,” Amitabh adds.