Tata Motors' Lucknow plant makes smart gains in energy sustainability

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 18 Mar 2020

Tata Motors' Lucknow plant, which manufactures a varied range of commercial vehicles at an estimated rate of 640 vehicles per day, has reported minimised use of energy in its functions and processes. 

The company says the Lucknow facility has adopted an Energy Management System (EMS), which has ensured a substantial reduction of 38% in specific energy consumption over the last four years -- from 406 kWh / equivalent vehicle in FY2015-16 to 250 kWh / equivalent vehicle in FY2018-19. These energy savings have come about through improving its energy efficiency measures by leveraging innovation, optimising operations, implementing energy-efficient technologies, adoption of energy conservation measures, use of renewable sources of energy, low-cost automation and introducing employee suggestion schemes.

Tie-up with Energy Efficiency Services helps
It may be recollected that in November 2017, Tata Motors inked an MoU with Energy Efficiencies Services Ltd (EESL) to achieve energy saving and resource conservation by implementing various energy efficiency initiatives across the company’s manufacturing facilities in India. In  the first phase, the energy efficiency programme was to be implemented in Tata Motors’ manufacturing plants located at Pantnagar (Uttarakhand), Lucknow and Pune and later extended to other facilities. EESL will undertake the complete upfront investment for the energy efficiency programme, with zero investment from Tata Motors. The overall implementation period for the programme will be two years. Clearly the effort has paid off with the Lucknow plant.

The MoU between Tata Motors and EESL covers the following: 
- Diagnostic studies and pilot projects 
- Energy audits for selected plant facilities to identify avenues for energy saving in electrical and thermal utilities.
- Water audits to identify areas/means to reduce specific water consumption.
- Pilot studies on cross-cutting technologies like tri-generation or VAM system for existing chiller-based AC installation, waste heat recovery system, and fuel switching from electrical to gas, conventional to non-conventional.
- Implementation of Energy Efficiency Projects through innovative financial models. 
- Installation/distribution of LED Lights and Energy Efficient appliances (Fans and/or Air Conditioners) across the facilities of TML, and supply-chain entities. 
- Installation of energy efficient motors (IE3 type) in place of conventional motors.
- Installation of smart meters.
- Capacity building and training. 
- Technical training to plant executives on topics pertaining to energy management, maintenance management, water management and safety engineering.
- Create a cadre of energy professionals i.e. certified energy managers and auditors.
- Facilitation in certification and recognition: National Energy Conservation Award, Green Building.

Speaking on the initiatives taken at the plant, Pramod Choudhary, Plant Head - Tata Motors Lucknow, said: “Environment protection features as a top priority agenda in our business and we have set the action plans for carbon emission control, energy conservation, water conservation, and waste management. Our Lucknow plant has always been cognizant of the need for energy conservation and has been steadily making progress towards attaining 100% renewable energy sourcing for all its operations by 2030. We have increased the share of renewable energy to over 16% in the last two years by installing a 4MWp capacity rooftop solar power plant in the plant premises. We will continue to drive such innovative initiatives as our contribution to make this planet smarter and greener, thus attaining sustainable development.”

Stringent monitoring and analysis
The outcome of the implemented processes is gauged by a meticulous system of energy monitoring and analysis through various reports such as Hourly Energy Report, Daily Energy Report, Daily Energy Audits and Monthly Energy Reports. These reports are then used to track, analyse and reduce variations in energy consumption across the shops and departments by a dedicated energy management cell. These effective analysis techniques have resulted in reducing the plant’s non-working day energy consumption by over 57% from 33,000 kWh to 14,300 kWh from FY 2018-19 to January’ 2020.

These practices have helped the Lucknow plant win a number of prestigious energy-efficiency awards at the national and state levels – National Energy Conservation Award by Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Ministry of Power, government of India (for 2010, 2011, 2014, 2016), Excellent Energy Efficient Unit Award by CII (for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2019) and the UP State Energy Conservation Award by Ministry of Energy, Govt. of UP (for 2017, 2018 and 2019).

In addition, the Lucknow plant is also exploring new avenues of open access solar power purchase; enhancing in-house solar plant capacity through applications like solar walkways, solar street lights, solar heating, electric vehicle charging station; a bio-gas plant; and by adopting other new renewable energy technologies. The overarching goal is to enhance the renewable energy contribution towards 100 percent.