S.N. Tripathi has over 35 years of experience in the power sector, including project management and operations and maintenance. Currently, he holds the position of executive director (project management) and regional executive director (hydro) at NTPC Limited. Tripathi is responsible for managing NTPC’s project portfolio. He has also been entrusted with the additional charge of regional executive director (hydro), where he is actively engaged in steering the viability analysis of energy storage and future capacity addition of pump storage plants.
According to Tripathi, ensuring the availability of reliable and affordable power on a round-the-clock basis is paramount. He notes that meeting this demand may require adding new coal-based power plants and thus, it would be premature to discuss phasing out fossil fuel-based plants. Commenting on the outlook for the power sector, Tripathi says, “The future of the power industry is bright in India and sustained economic growth will continue to drive demand for electricity in the country. India’s electricity demand is growing at a very high rate of nearly 10 per cent. However, there are challenges that still exist such as the poor financial state of discoms, shortfall in domestic coal supplies, insufficient transmission infrastructure, and rising inventory of non-performing assets.”
Tripathi believes that while India is actively investing in renewable energy sources, integrating these variable sources into the power grid is a major challenge. He strongly feels that India has the potential to become a global leader in renewable energy and sustainable power generation in the near future.
Tripathi’s most memorable assignment was working on the commissioning of the Barh Stage-I project. “Nearly all possible challenges were thrust upon the team including adverse geopolitical conditions, technological failures and law and order issues. We also faced time and cost overruns, contractual disputes, and inadequate support from original equipment manufacturers. It was the sheer dedication and tenacity of the team that we could commission unit-1 of the TPS in November 2021 and it is under successful commercial operation.” Tripathi adopts a solution-oriented collaborative management style. He believes in the guidance offered in Shrimad Bhagwat Gita, “karmanye vadhikaraste ma phaleshu kadachana” (You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action).