District Cooling development in India In India, installing cooling capacity across all technologies in use is likely to grow 4x over the coming decade to 296 MN Refrigeration Tons (RT), an 8% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR). The fastest- growing market sub-segment is Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technologies (preference around cost, efficiency & flexibility). But, large chillers, conducive for district cooling, is also likely to grow at a CAGR of 11% to 25 MN RT. Adopting DC will require broader market awareness and successful pilots. It requires stronger local eco- systems for project execution and O&M too. Furthermore, there is a need for business model innovation to fit an India-specific model that incorporates existing best practices from the country.
DC projects in India are still few, but the demand is rising, and with some good reference projects, there will be a large growing market for district cooling in India.
Amaravati, India – district cooling project The new state of Andhra Pradesh in India has a Greenfield capital city planned in Amaravati with world- class and sustainable infrastructure features, including an elaborate and interconnected District Cooling Scheme to serve cooling loads of up to 100,000 TR. The Amaravati Government Complex (AGC), featuring the State Assembly, the High Court, five secretariat towers, and two future mixed-use towers, is planned among the capital city's initial developments with a cooling requirement of 19,989 TR. The Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA), an authority entrusted with developing the capital city, launched a Design, Finance, Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) tender for a District Cooling System (DCS). It will be developed in a phased manner after proving the significant benefits that a DCS could provide in meeting the cooling demand of AGC sustainably vis-a-vis the standalone cooling systems. It will make the AGC DCS India's first cooling scheme developed in a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) concession model. The DFBOT global tender for DCS by APCRDA attracted several bids from which Tabreed (amongst the world’s largest District Cooling utility based out of UAE) was selected as the winner with an investment commitment of INR 3750 million (US$ 50 million). The tender process successfully culminated into a 32-year cooling concession agreement between APCRDA and Tabreed. Tabreed became the first global district cooling utility to start operations in India through its country office set-up in 2019. Amaravati Government Complex District Cooling Plan Based on the estimated development timelines of the AGC buildings, a phased expansion of the DCS capacity has been envisaged by APCRDA to avoid any significant pre-investment in the project. The various benefits that accrue from a DCS for meeting AGC’s cooling needs compared to standalone water- cooled or air-cooled systems are:
50% energy demand reduction with 100% use of clean energy
Reduction in installed cooling capacity
More Freed up Area in each building
• Free terrace area for rooftop gardens, solar panels or to enhance aestetic appeal
• DC plants built up in 30% lesser area requirement
• Better acoustic management in buildings
Lower lifetime cooling costs
• 20% lower lifetime cooling costs
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