India’s first Utility scale Solar+Storage Tender
India is a land of rising solar opportunities. Its 100 GW solar power target has drawn interests of not only the local players in India, but also many large foreign solar companies. One of India’s solar firms Azure Power has even gone ahead for listing on the New York Stock Exchange. It is believed that solar+storage is set to become the next emerging technology which will give a hard time to the conventional sources of power. Solar electricity plus storage costs are expected to start competing with retail prices of grid from 2020 onwards.
In a bid to step up the solar game in India, Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) had invited bids for solar+storage projects in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. These include six solar projects for 50 MW each with a battery storage system of 5 MW for each 2.5 MWh attached, totalling to 100 MW for AP and 200 MW for Karnataka. This was India’s first utility scale tender for solar+storage. However it is now delayed due to lack of proper pricing and clarifications. SECI had set up the tariff at INR 4.4 kWh alongwith a viability gap funding (VGF), which is very low as per the opinion of the industry. Though it is a good step taken by SECI towards promoting solar+storage in India, the firm forgot to give clear specifications about the storage system.
Also read about SolPads – the new solar+storage technology
Now the tender will need modifications again. India follows a unique reverse auction bidding process for large scale solar projects. This coupled with the fact that storage options are a new thing in the country today, led to a pricing confusion. India has a long way to go before it achieves its object. I think the country needs to be more careful before coming out with these numbers, to avoid any further delay. With solar+storage projects launching in India, the country will be able to achieve grid parity much sooner. Infact according to Bridge to India, the country will start facing curtailment issues very soon, just as Germany and China.
Jasmeet Khurana, associate director, consulting, Bridge to India, recently forecast that curtailment of solar power would start to hit various states in India in coming years in India as the penetration of renewables to the grid rises dramatically. Indeed PV developers in Tamil Nadu have now become the first to experience it. This means strong energy storage deployment will become increasingly important.
Source: PV Tech