US university Virginia Tech said Monday it would open a research centre in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu this autumn with the aim to improve and adapt wind turbines and solar panels for use in households in rural India.
VT India Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science Innovation Centre will target improving life conditions for 400 million Indians that have no access to the power grid. It will work for reaching mass production of the solar panels and wind turbines, which have been tested in India, said Guru Ghosh, Virginia Tech’s vice president for international affairs.
Two years ago, Virginia Tech agreed to set up its India campus with private-sector partner MARG Swarnabhoomi. MARG Swarnabhoomi has committed USD 1.8 million (EUR 1.4m) for laboratory built-out, while Virginia Tech has to take care of staff and operations with an initial spending of USD 350,000, according to Ghosh.
Roop Mahajan, director of the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech, said the university would recruit graduate Indian students to work on the project.
The centre will be located in MARG Swarnabhoomi’s research park, where ocean breezes are suitable for wind turbine research, Mahajan added.
(USD 1 = EUR 0.774)