Tamil Nadu - Massachusetts Energy Partnership

October 21 – 23, 2019

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Tamil Nadu - Massachusetts Energy Partnership

Click here to access the press release CSIS Links Clean Energy Economies of Tamil Nadu and Massachusetts

CSIS has been liaising with state power officials from the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu since February 2017 in an effort to uncover the state’s energy priorities. Tamil Nadu officials were participants in the first ever, U.S. – India Subnational Energy Workshop hosted in Delhi in November 2017 as part of CSIS' State and Urban Initiative.  In early February 2017, CSIS also began to liaise with Massachusetts-based energy sector stakeholders to map out the innovative institutions and incentive programs in the state.  With the consent of both state governments CSIS began to make the introductions and arrange site visits for Mr. Vikram Kapur, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu with key energy stakeholders across Massachusetts.  Thanks to a successful visit in August 2019, the groundwork was laid to organize a reverse delegation of key energy stakeholders from Massachusetts to travel to Tamil Nadu in late October.

CSIS worked closely with the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs in the state of Massachusetts to coordinate the visit of a nine-member delegation to Tamil Nadu to have a dialogue with their counterparts and engage in site visits. Being a pioneer in off-shore wind energy development in the U.S., a topic of interest to the established wind industry in India, Mr. Patrick Woodcock, Undersecretary of Energy & Environmental Affairs spoke about the state’s experience in setting up its project at summit organized by the Indian Wind Power Association in Chennai on October 21st.  This was a unique opportunity for Indian and global wind stakeholders to engage with the Massachusetts officials.  On the 22nd of October, the Massachusetts delegation participated in a roundtable discussion hosted by India’s National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE).  Dr. Balaraman, Director General, NIWE led the discussion focusing on India’s power sector and renewable energy ambitions, focusing on opportunities to collaborate in the wind sector including with the various programs and new institutions being designed at NIWE.  The Massacusetts Clean Energy Center’s blade testing facility in Boston along with the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s wind technology education and training programs emerged as possible partners to link with NIWE.

The main energy dialogue between Tamil Nadu and Massachusetts was organized on October 23rd (see agenda below). This dialogue has laid the groundwork for a reverse delegation of energy stakeholders from Tamil Nadu to visit Massachusetts soon and begin to collaborate on shared energy priorities.  A draft strategic energy partnership agreement has been circulated between the two state governments in an effort to formalize their energy partnership.  Even without the formalizing of the agreement, many useful public and private sector connections have been made between the two regions that will move forward, building on ties that were first created between the two regions in 1842 when a shipment of ice made its way from Boston to Madras (now Chennai).

Additional site visits and discussions participated in by the Massachusetts delegation included a visit to Auroville and the Indian Institute of Technology’s Research Park where a few labs are focused on energy storage and DC microgrid solutions. 

Conference Agenda
Date 23.10.2019  (Wednesday)

9:45 am  Arrival of Delegation

10:00 am Welcome address
Thiru Vikram Kapur I.A.S
Additional Chief Secretary and Chairman & Managing Director/TANGEDCO

10:15 am Opening remarks
Dr. Kartikeya Singh, Deputy Director and Senior Fellow, Wadhwani Chair, US – India Policy Studies, CSIS

10:20 am Opening remarks
Dr. Kartikeya Singh, Deputy Director and Senior Fellow, Wadhwani Chair, US – India Policy Studies, CSIS

11:00 am Tea Break

11:15 am Special Address
Patrick Woodcock, Undersecretary of Energy, Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy  &  Environmental Affairs

11:25 am Presentation on Massachusetts State’s solar policy, offshore wind, and Energy storage plans
Joanna Troy, Director of Energy Policy and Planning, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources

11:40 am Presentation on overview of Massachusetts State Electricity Grid Reforms and the role of the Department of Public Utilities in shaping policy
Michael Judge, Director of the Electric Power Division, Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU)

11:55 am Presentation on Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
Galen Nelson, Chief Program Officer, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

12:05 pm Presentation on Industry/Commercial cooperation between Massachusetts – Tamil Nadu
Mark Sullivan, Executive Director for the Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment (MOITI)

12:15 pm Presentation on climate resilience and carbon neutrality work in Boston city
Carl Spector, Commissioner of the Environment for the City of Boston

12:30 pm Q & A Session

1:00 pm Lunch

Industry Round Table

2:30 pm Welcome address
Mr. Robert Burgess, U.S. Consul General, United States Consulate, Chennai
Dr. Kartikeya Singh, Deputy Director & Senior Fellow, CSIS
Mr. J. Jayaseelan, Chairman, Tamil Nadu, Indo-American Chamber of Commerce

2:45 pm Presentation by  Mark Sullivan, Executive Director for the Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment (MOITI)

3:00 pm Presentation by  Galen Nelson, Chief Program Officer, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

3:15 pm Industry Perspective from Tamil Nadu
Research Round Table

3:30 pm Massachusetts Presentations
Dr Angeliki Diane Rigos, Executive Director of the MIT Tata Center for Technology and Design
Dr. Dwayne Breger, Director, Clean Energy Extension, University of Massachusetts Amherst

4:00 pm Tamil Nadu Presentations
Dr. Natarajan, Director, Institute of Energy Studies, Anna University
Mr. Ramesh Santhanam, Chief Innovation Officer, Indian Institute of Technology Madras Research Park

5:00 pm Open Discussion
Kartikeya Singh
Senior Associate (Non-resident), Energy Security and Climate Change Program and Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies
Afeena Ashfaque
Adjunct Fellow (Non-resident), Chair in U.S. – India Policy Studies