India takes first steps towards utility-scale energy storage
In the upcoming tenders for 100 MW of PV generation capacity in Andhra Pradesh and 200 MW in Karnataka, each 50 MW project would be connected to a storage capacity of 2.5 MWh. Tenders may draw attention of some key storage systems suppliers According to Bridge to India, these tenders would help India draw attention of some key storage systems suppliers such as #NGKInsulators, #AES #EnergyStorage, #Sumitomo Electric, #LGChem, #Samsung #SDI, #NECEnergy, #BYD, #Toshiba, #GE and #Saft. BYD is already known to be exploring this opportunity and may offer a joint bid with #SkyPower. The primary commercial objective of these particular tenders would be to showcase India as an upcoming market for utility-scale energy storage solutions, Bridge to India notes. These projects should just be seen as a start of the process to acclimatize project developers and grid operators with utility-scale storage. From a technical standpoint, the need for energy storage technology is plain obvious in a scenario where grid penetration of renewables is increasing rapidly. India expects to get 15% of all power from renewables by 2022 as against about 5.5% today. Greater amount of storage capacity will be required in future to address intermittency challenges of renewable energy by storing surplus electricity to meet short term demand-supply mismatch. Storage will also be critical in supporting the local grid through ancillary services such as frequency regulation, voltage support and peak demand shaving. Technical benefits of rather small storage capacity will be limited On first examination, the size of proposed energy storage systems in SECI tenders is rather small (equivalent to just 3 minutes of plant production of a 50 MW project at full capacity), says Bridge to India. As a result, technical benefits of this storage capacity will also be limited. Nonetheless, the pilot projects would showcase India as an upcoming market for utility-scale energy storage solutions and provide useful technical, operational and financial learning for the entire power sector. Assuming a price of INR 15,000/kWh (~USD 220/kWh) for lithium-ion batteries, a 2.5 MWh storage unit will cost around INR 38 million (USD 0.6 million). With India expected to become the third largest market for solar deployment after U.S. and China from next year onwards, Bridge to India expects to see much more focus on storage in the coming years.