Two announcements this week have hinted at India becoming a major user of batteries for grid stability as the country looks to harness up to 175GW of solar energy by 2022.
With that much potential renewable energy a buffer between the gird and source is needed to balance grid frequency, and that is where large-scale batteries looks set to be an integral part of India’s grid.
The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has invited expressions of interest for what could prove to be India’s first utility-scale energy storage project.
The project would combine 1MWh of energy storage with 2MW of grid-connected solar and a 0.5MW wind at a hybrid project at Rangreek in the mountainous state of Himachal Pradesh.
The tender includes five years of operations and maintenance work at the site in Lahaul and Spiti district.
Meanwhile, GE Energy Consulting, an arm of General Electric, is set to carry out an integrating renewable energy study, which will inform plans for a new grid infrastructure.
India-based wind energy firm IL&FS Energy, a subsidiary of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services, picked GE to undertake the study, which is being bankrolled by the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).
The study will estimate the costs of the project, while taking into account the viability gap funding mechanism, India’s Central government funding scheme for renewable energy projects.
The project at sites at Ramagiri in the state of Andhra Pradesh, and at Nana Layja in Gujarat, is expected to be completed this summer.
Sundar Venkataraman, technical director at GE’s Energy Consulting business, said: “Energy storage can be particularly helpful for integrating variable renewable generation in India since the technical infrastructure and market mechanisms available at the disposal of many other power grids are not yet available in the country.
“As the costs start to come down, energy storage will become an integral part of India’s grid.
“By taking a look at the impact of renewable integration with energy storage systems on India’s power grid, we can provide valuable information to help the country best design its future grid.”