SBI lights up clean technology initiative with wind farm launch

Written by Sajan C Kumar | Chennai | Updated: Apr 28 2010, 02:32am hrs
At a time when global entities like International Finance Corporation (IFC) are keen on funding clean energy projects in India, State Bank of India (SBI) has taken the lead role to cut carbon footprint. The bank has already kickstarted its initiative with O P Bhatt, the banks chairman, inaugurating the banks first windfarm project in Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) on Friday.

The 15-mw project, supplied by Suzlon Energy, consists of 10 units of Suzlons S-82 and 1.5-mw wind turbine generators. These generators were earlier installed across Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

The path breaking project forms an important part of SBIs strategy to reduce its carbon footprint and sensitise clients on the need for adopting efficient processes. The electricity generated from the wind turbines will power various SBI facilities and operations across the three states. The project was completed by Suzlon in record time going from concept to commissioning in just four months, covering equipment supply, construction, project commissioning, power evacuation, and comprehensive operations and maintenance services.

Speaking on the occasion, Bhatt said, Among the players in the financial services sector, State Bank has taken the initiative to be in the forefront in initiating steps for combating climate change and reducing carbon footprint, and we propose to take the initiative forward for which this beginning has been made in acquiring green power, with a view to making the bank as nearly energy neutral as possible over the next five years. The windmills are set up with a definite objective of reducing the dependence on the polluting thermal power and not on purely economic and business considerations. The project directly results in reducing the carbon footprint of the bank and paves the way for others to follow, he added. The bank is planning to set up an additional 20 mw capacity of windmills in Gujarat.

Speaking from Coimbatore, Tulsi R Tanti, chairman and managing director, Suzlon Energy, said, This project demonstrates SBIs far-reaching vision in recognising the challenge of climate change, and our collective responsibility to combat it. As an Indian company, and the worlds third largest wind power group, it gives us great pride to partner with SBI in its first green banking initiative, harnessing wind to reduce its carbon footprint.