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India plans for the future – integrating energy storage with solar power plants in tenders

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Integrated Solar Storage Tender India

India has been issuing massive solar tenders left and right, with almost 10 GW of solar tenders issued by January 2016. This is a large number given that power capacity additions in India have come to a virtual halt, due to problems in fuel supply and a general industrial slowdown. If India meets its 175 GW renewable energy target by 2022, this will mean that almost 30% of India’s power capacity will come from intermitted energy sources. Grid integration and balancing will become critical issues going forward and the planning for that needs to be done today. India has not invested too much money in grid balancing or peaking power plants (gas) or energy storage till now. In fact, India does not have any utility scale grid storage as of now. This will have to be corrected in the future, as India plans to get almost 40% of its total power capacity from renewable energy by 2030. It has to take lessons from Germany, which has integrated almost 60% renewable energy capacity into its system.

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A small baby step towards energy storage has been made it a recent 750 MW solar tender in an Andhra Pradesh solar park. The solar power plant will also have an energy storage element attached to it, apart from the usual solar panels which will be used for power generation. The energy storage will be used to smoothen the power generation from this power plant.

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The SECI tender has a 100 MW energy storage requirement along with the 750 MW solar power plant. This will certainly increase the price required by a developer to sell power from this plant. It will also probably require the involvement of a large storage player such as LG and GE, as a supplier to the plant developer. If this tender is successful, the other tenders in India would also require similar energy storage specifications. Note that in California, energy storage has been set a target and utilities are installing energy storage using separate tenders. A combined tender has been used for the first time. Am not sure why a combination is being used instead of separate tenders. It might be easier to separate the prices and the location also might not be optimum.

While the intention of the Indian government to show some foresightedness is laudable, am not sure they are going about the implementation in the right way.

PG

Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to greensneha@yahoo.in

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