CASE STUDY

October 27, 2014

THE TATA POWER COMPANY

The Tata Power Company Limited, an entity of the Tata Group, is the largest integrated power company in India with installed generation capacity of about 8500 MW. Tata Power commissioned its first hydro power plant in 1915 and today it is a key player with diversified energy portfolio in thermal, solar and wind energy segments. The total generation from renewable energy sources is approximately 14 per cent of the installed capacity.

The company has presence across the entire power value chain from fuel and logistics to generation and transmission
to distribution and trading. In 2013 Tata Power implemented India’s first 4000 MW Ultra Mega Power Project at Mundra, Gujarat based on super critical technology, reflecting Tata Power’s thrive for continuous growth and innovation.

With its primary base in Mumbai and expansion to other locations in India, Tata Power intends to become a major national player. On the global front, it has established substantial international presence through its projects in Indonesia, Singapore, South Africa, Australia and Bhutan.

Relationship to Biodiversity
Tata Power, being in the power sector has been consistently conscious of the various environmental challenges and their possible impacts on biodiversity. The electricity sector is identified as a ‘red zone’ for 1 biodiversity risk . Red zones are defined as those sectors in which most companies are likely to be exposed to biodiversity risks and the risks are likely to be significant.

Power generation, from both nonrenewable and renewable sources, can have a broad range of biodiversity impacts. While the burning of fossil fuels can impact biodiversity through air and water pollution, generation of energy from renewable resources poses certain risks as well. For example, wind turbines can adversely affect wildlife, particularly birds, and building dams for hydroelectric power can affect
biodiversity by flooding habitats. Moreover, linear features such as roads and corridors for power lines can fragment habitats and improve access to previously undeveloped areas, which can lead to potential impacts from land conversion, small-scale mining, hunting and logging.

However, it is worth noting that Tata Power’s operations are not in close proximity, i.e. 10 km, to any nationally or internationally designated protected areas such as national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, world heritage sites etc. Notwithstanding ambitious expansion plans of Tata Power, the company has committed itself to ‘responsible growth’. The steps taken towards preserving the natural capital emancipate from production of green and clean energy to creation of sustainable livelihoods for communities to green buildings and villages. Conferring the importance of conservation, a stand-alone biodiversity division has been established within the corporate sustainability department in 2012. Being unique to the corporate sector, this division is set out to create a robust structural framework for biodiversity conservation at Tata Power.

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