April 2015 | Gayatri Kamath and Cynthia Rodrigues

100 years of high-wattage performance

From its humble beginnings with a 40MW unit at Khopoli, Maharashtra, Tata Power has grown to become India’s largest integrated private power producer with a footprint across Europe, Africa and Asia

Starting its journey more than a century ago with a single hydroelectric project in India, Tata Power has grown to a $5.6-billion enterprise. The company, which is celebrating 100 years of operations in 2015, is India’s largest integrated private power producer, spanning power generation, transmission, distribution and trading.

The company's generation capacity has crossed 8,600MW today; making it the second largest in India. Tata Power stands out among power producers with a presence across the renewables of hydro, wind, solar and geothermal energy.

Many of the Indian power industry’s milestones have been defined by Tata Power. It brought in the country’s first hydro power units and its first thermal 150MW unit. Supervisory control and data acquisition systems (or SCADA) were pioneered by Tata Power. The company commissioned India’s first 500MW and 800MW units. The company has experimented with floating solar plants to overcome one of the biggest obstacles to solar energy: the availability of large parcels of land. The list of firsts goes on and on.

The company’s international footprint now covers Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia. Wind projects in South Africa, hydro projects in Bhutan and Georgia, and thermal projects in Vietnam and Myanmar – the company has been pursuing its intent to globalise with vigour.

Tata Power has set an ambitious growth target of 18,000MW by 2022 with a large part of the target slated to be realised through renewable energy projects. Hydro forms the biggest component of the plan with wind and solar being other focus areas. The company is also promoting biomass and geothermal pilot projects.

The company’s associate entities have set the standard for the industry in distribution (Tata Power Delhi Distribution), transmission (Powerlinks Transmission), defence (Strategic Engineering Division), trading (Tata Power Trading Company) and renewable energy (Tata Power Solar Systems).

Led by its motto of inclusive growth, the corporate social responsibility initiatives of Tata Power have also made a tremendous difference, in a wide variety of ways, to the lives of the countless people they have touched. The company has often gone beyond its area of business operations to make an impact, especially during natural disasters.

Tata Power was already heeding its responsibility towards the environment long before ecological issues became a matter of concern. The company has planted over a million trees on the hills around its dams in the Western Ghats. The company’s Walwhan Dam is home to a unique marine conservancy programme, the only breeding centre in India for the endangered mahseer fish.

With the company’s focus on global expansion, innovative technologies, green and clean energies and customer centricity, Tata Power is primed to prosper further.

Know more about Tata Power's fascinating journey:
'We will continue to bring new technologies to India'
The path that Tata Power has chosen for itself is global and clean, as the company’s chief executive, Anil  Sardana, explains in this interview
'The consumer will reign'
Tata Power’s chief operating officer, Ashok Sethi, who has clocked 39 years with the company, shares his views on the organisation’s evolution
'We have to slog our assets'
There are challenges as well as opportunities on the path that Tata Power has chosen to take, says chief financial officer Ramesh Subramanyam
'A climate of respect is vital'
Chief culture officer and head of business excellence and transformation, Vivek Talwar, on what makes Tata Power a sustainable organisation
'People policies are linked to the company's strategy'
Employee engagement is critical to improve staff morale and the sense of belonging in the company, says human resources head Chetan Tolia
The going is green
A presence across hydro, wind, solar and geothermal makes it easier for Tata Power to target a cleaner energy portfolio
Chain of excellence
From renewable power to consumer friendliness, Tata Power’s associate entities have set the standard for the industry
For country and community, in the spirit of giving back
The corporate social responsibility initiatives of Tata Power have made a tremendous difference, in a wide variety of ways, to the lives of the countless people they have touched
'We were getting marginalised'
Tata Power had to think beyond Mumbai to stay relevant in a rapidly changing industry, and that’s what it did, writes Prasad Menon
From dependable to adaptable
Tata Power has grown spectacularly in scale and spread thanks to its ability to reinvent itself, says Adi Engineer
When 'farmers' became 'hunters'
Where once reliability and continuity were prized, Tata Power has moved on to find its balance and to flourish in a business arena rendered volatile, writes Firdose Vandrevala
'It was easier to run back then'
KM Gherda remembers the days of Tata Electric Companies, of ‘reasonable returns’ and a business where the big complexity was accounting for three rather than one
A pioneer all the way through
FC Kohli on the company where he made his mark as an information technology whiz, at a time when government permission was needed to get computers installed