Author: Energy Storage News

Solar Energy Corporation of India tenders for floating solar, 60MWh storage on Lakshadweep islands

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has issued a sizeable solar-plus-storage tender for the island archipelago of Lakshadweep involving 20MWac of floating solar projects coupled with 60MWh of battery energy storage systems.

The scope of the work includes design, engineering, supply, construction, erection, testing and commissioning of the projects at various locations as well as 10 years of operations and maintenance (O&M) services. The locations and capacities are as follows:

The total package of the tender will be awarded to a single bidder through a reverse auction.

SECI wants to develop clean energy projects under its ownership across the 11 islands of the union territory of Lakshadweep, as it announced in mid-January, with an aim of powering the inhabited islands in Lakshadweep partly or wholly through renewable energy sources.

The deadline for bid submissions is 1 April this year.

In November 2017, the Lakshadweep Energy Development Authority (LEDA) also invited Expressions of Interest (EoI) for the development of 10MW of floating solar plants on the islands.

Domestic content solar PV scheme to kick off

SECI has also prepared the first tender under its Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) scheme that mandates the use of locally-sourced cells and modules. This 1GW tender, supported by viability gap funding (VGF), will be available on 28 February.

The organisation has also said that a 97.5MW of grid-connected rooftop PV tender for government buildings across the country under the CAPEX or RESCO models will be made available on 21 February.

India’s first grid-scale storage project launches: 10MW li-ion system will ‘pave way’ for the future

Described as a project of ‘strategic importance’ for India’s entire energy sector, the country’s first grid-scale lithium-ion battery energy storage system officially went into service this week.

An inauguration event was held for the 10MW / 10MWh system today, 13 February, at the site in Rohini, Delhi. It is located at a substation owned by Tata Power Distribution, the grids and networks business of India’s mammoth Tata Group. Owned and operated by AES Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation, which have jointly delivered the project, the system will help provide flexibility to the local grid.

Tata Power DDL has over 2 million customers, and the Discom’s (distribution company) CEO Sanjay Banga said that: “This, India’s first grid-scale battery-based storage system, will address our key challenges in the areas of peak load management, system flexibility, frequency regulation and reliability of the network.”

“At Tata Power-DDL, we continually strive to integrate new technologies for strengthening our network to provide reliable and quality power supply to our consumers,” Banga said.

Fluence, the technology provider joint venture (JV) formed by AES together with engineering company Siemens, supplied the battery system itself, based on the Advancion lithium-ion battery storage platform originally developed through the AES parent company ahead of the JV’s independent launch last year. 

A pathfinder project

Last month, Dr Rahul Walawalkar, president, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) and CES (India), told Energy-Storage.news that the project marked real “strategic importance” for India’s energy sector and strongly emphasised the role the battery system, which will perform tasks including frequency regulation, would play as a pathfinder for future project, market and regulatory developments.

The project marks a first step forward for energy storage in a country which has an enormous target to reach 225GW renewable energy generation by 2022. By 2027 the network could also require 46GW of peaking capacity, typically the most polluting and expensive energy in the grid in nearly all parts of the world. The Rohini project is set to be a pathfinder for India, to demonstrate how battery storage can help reduce the ramping capacity needed to fire up fossil fuel plants, help integrate renewables by smoothing their output to the grid and in general provide critical flexibility to the grid.

As solar on the grid increases in India, thermal power plants will start to be shut off during the day. As the power contributed by solar wanes with the sun in the evening, there can be the potential for a shortfall of energy as evening peak demand occurs. Using battery storage has the potential to greatly mitigate the need for thermal power plants to ramp up, or even to be there at all. At present this need is resulting in 57GW of ramping requirements over 6 hours each night in India.

A paper presented to Energy-Storage.news by Fluence today argued that energy storage can deliver “twice as much flexibility as any other electric power asset because it can both deliver and absorb power from the network, acting as a buffer to the intermittency of renewables and eliminating the need for wasteful curtailment [of renewable energy]. Storage can be sited anywhere in the network including densely populated load centers and rural areas on the edges of the network. It has no direct emissions or water use. This project is a first step for widespread deployment of energy storage in India.”

“Tata Power’s collaboration with AES and Mitsubishi is one of the significant milestones in the Indian power sector. Grid-scale energy storage will pave the way for ancillary market services, power quality management, effective renewable integration and peak load management of Indian grids,” Tata Power CEO and managing director Praveer Sinha said. 

Read the India Energy Storage Alliance executive director Dr Rahul Walawalkar’s thoughts on what 2019 will bring for energy storage in India in areas including gigafactory-scale manufacturing and clarity on renewable energy policies. 

India plans 14MW of solar with 42MWh of battery storage in Ladakh

India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is planning two hybrid projects with a combined total of 14MW solar PV and 42MWh of battery energy storage in Leh and Kargil, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The plan comes just a few weeks after Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) released a highly ambitious tender for 7.5GW of solar also in the remote and high altitude desert region of Ladakh in the far north of India. The viability of this venture has been questioned by engineers and a pre-bid meeting is to be held on 18 February in New Delhi.

However, the new solar-plus-storage projects, located in different parts of the Ladakh region, will include far smaller project sizes with 7MW of solar and 21MWh of storage each. Ladakh Renewable Energy Development Agency (LREDA) and Kargil Renewable Energy Development Agency (KREDA) will facilitate securing the required land area for each project.

SECI will oversee the scheme and act as project management consultant.

The project will have a fixed tariff of INR2/kWh (US$0.028) alongside viability gap funding (VGF) which is a subsidy provided by the government to a maximum of INR1.82 billion (US$25.4 million) for each project in this case. The VGF will be dispersed in two tranches will the final 50% offered on successful commissioning.

SECI will issue a tender and award the projects via competitive bidding. Projects are to be commissioned within 18 months of being awarded and successful bidders will also be responsible for O&M services on the plants. 

In other news, SECI is also planning to develop its own renewable energy projects at the Indian archipelago of Lakshadweep, with an eye on coupling the projects with battery energy storage.

BHEL and Libcoin in final talks over Indian lithium-ion battery gigafactory

Indian state majority-owned firm Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and Libcoin are in final stage talks over setting up what they have dubbed as a lithium-ion Gigafactory in India.

Libcoin is a consortium including Sydney-based firm Magnis Energy, Duggal Family Trust and New York-based lithium-ion battery specialist Charge CCCV(C4V).

The Government of India, via the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, has endorsed the project that would start at 1GWh capacity and is set to be scaled up to 30GWh over time, according to a release from Magnis Energy.

Magnis has already announced plans to build three large-scale Gigafactories globally, according the company’s website:

  1. Australia / Townsville for 15GWh
  2. USA / New York for 15GWh  (Accelerated production plan enabled to commence production in 2019)
  3. Germany / North Rhine Westfalia for 30GWh.

Magnis chairman Frank Poullas commented: “We see India as one of the largest markets in the world for Lithium-ion batteries and to potentially build one of the world’s largest Lithium-ion battery Gigafactories with a partner who possesses the skill and expertise of BHEL is exciting for the company.”

Libcoin chairman Rajan Duggal said: “Our plan is to be the largest Lithium-ion battery manufacturer in India, and we aim to be the first mover in one of the world’s largest markets. The interest this project is generating especially in the Indian automobile sector is very exciting.”

Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, president, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) and president & MD, Customized Energy Solutions (India), told Energy-Storage.News: “India is expected to attract investment in up to four ‘Gigafactories’ for advanced Li-ion batteries, attracting over US$3 billion in investments in the next 3 years. Recently, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and Libcoin are in discussion to form a consortium to build India’s first lithium-ion battery (LIB) gigafactory.”

Walawalkar noted that previously, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) in collaboration with Toshiba and Denso had announced plans to set up a Lithium-ion battery production facility purely dedicated to automobiles in Gujarat. Meanwhile, Exide had also announced their plans to set up Li-ion manufacturing with two different partners.

Walawalkar added that apart from this there are at least five other large industrial consortiums who are trying to finalise their plans for manufacturing in India.

Last June, two research institutions and local developer Raasi Solar Power also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) related to lithium-ion cell manufacturing. In this case, the organisations want to bring down the cost of lithium-ion cell manufacturing below INR15,000 (US$222) / kWh and create batteries for rooftop solar with a 25-year lifespan, by setting up a manufacturing facility in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

SECI highlights battery storage in planned renewables tender for Lakshadweep

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) is planning to develop its own renewable energy projects at the Indian archipelago of Lakshadweep, with an eye on coupling the projects with battery energy storage.

The aim is to power the inhabited islands in Lakshadweep partly or wholly through renewable energy sources.

A tender document for the design, engineering, supply, construction, erection, testing and commissioning of the projects including 10 years of operations and maintenance (O&M) will be available from 31 January.

In November 2018, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) came out with new guidelines for distributed grid-connected solar PV projects in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep, including an extension of the implementation timeline, increase of the target capacity and an opening for energy storage technology.

In November 2017, the Lakshadweep Energy Development Authority (LEDA) invited Expressions of Interest (EoI) for the development of 10MW floating solar plants on the islands.

Energy-Storage.News recently featured a guest article from Dr Rahul Walawalkar, executive director, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), looking back at how energy storage has progressed in India in 2018 and what is to come in the year ahead.

Energy storage in India: A ‘year of action’ lies ahead of us

Dr Rahul Walawalkar by now probably needs little introduction for our readers. It’s been a little while since his last Guest Blog for the site, but Dr Walawalkar has weighed in with commentaries, views and invaluable background information and insights through interviews and news stories, mostly in his capacity as executive director of the India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA). Since the end of last year, he is also the chair of the Global Energy Storage Alliance (GESA). In his day-to-day role, Walawalkar leads the Emerging Technologies & Markets team at Customized Energy Solutions.

We asked Rahul three simple questions to illuminate what was achieved in 2018 and what held the market back, if anything. We also look ahead to this year and what we might expect to see.

What were the biggest achievements in India in 2018 in energy storage and related areas like electric vehicles or solar and wind?

The year 2018 saw some great action and witnessed the kick-start of some large-scale deployments of energy storage technologies in the country. The government is also trying to push incentives for domestic manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries, thus reducing their import and dependence on China. It is thanks to telecom and related sector applications that the distributed advanced storage deployment in the country has already crossed the 2GWh benchmark.

During the first half of the year, India installed 4.9 GW of solar power and secured the position of the second largest solar market in the world. The country will soon become the global solar hub with some of the largest solar parks in the world as Government has approved plans for 14 solar parks as part of National Solar Mission of reaching 100 GW solar by 2022.

The Indian government has announced achieving 100% village electrification earlier this year and is now aiming for 100% household electrification with in next couple of years. According to the MOP, 15 states in India have achieved 100% household electrification under Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna (SAUBHAGYA) program so far.  

The EV market is also gaining momentum in India due to the ambitious plans and initiatives of the government. In early 2018, the Ministry of Power launched the new National Electric Mobility Programme to focus on creating the charging infrastructure and a policy framework to set a target of more than 30% electric vehicles by 2030.

According to the MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy), India will add 227GW of renewable energy capacity by March 2022, which is going to improve India’s ranking, making it one of the top three countries making investments in the sector. Meanwhile, India has played a significant role in setting up of the International Solar Alliance. The government is making sincere efforts and progress toward alternative energy and the past year has been very progressive. Still, a lot needs to be achieved in the area of energy storage.

What specific initiatives was the India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) able to undertake in 2018 and what were some of the group’s successes?

IESA’s vision is to make India a global leader in energy storage, electric vehicle and micro-grid technology adoption and a hub for manufacturing of these emerging technologies by 2022. We’re creating awareness among various stakeholders in the industry by promoting an information exchange with end users.

In February 2018, the MNRE convened to draft the National Energy Storage Mission to provide the policy framework necessary [to support the] industry. I was the part of the expert committee representing IESA to draft the National Energy Storage Mission which was of the major achievements – not only for us but also for the whole industry. The NESM draft is currently awaiting final approval from Cabinet and PMO and is expected to get announced during this month, January 2019.

IESA also brought leading voices together to advocate for a cut to GST (Goods and Services Tax, a single tax applicable across the whole of the country) rates for energy storage in India which is now 18% down from 28%. IESA had sent several letters to GST council earlier on this reduction and also met the concerned ministry officials on different occasions. The further reduction of GST to 5% – similar to solar components – or to 12% (similar to the electric vehicle) is essential to boost energy storage adoption in India.

During 2018, IESA also held a number of other successful events. We hosted a meet in Coimbatore and Pune for fast-tracking the adoption of behind-the-meter advanced energy storage technologies. Attended by over 80 large Commercial and Industrial (C&I) consumers as well as 50+ IESA member companies actively looking to provide solutions, the objective was to provide appropriate energy storage solutions for C&I consumers. We also hosted a ‘masterclass’ on energy storage tech, applications and manufacturing with the Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers Association (IEEMA), an EV event looking at policy, battery tech and charging infrastructure.

IESA also hosted the second edition of India’s Energy Storage Policy Forum on the eve of World Energy Storage Day, focused on policy issues related to grid and off-grid applications to support renewable development, energy storage for EVs and charging infrastructure, as well as R&D and the manufacturing ecosystem in India. We received an overwhelming response from stakeholders and policy makers.

Finally, in receiving the chairmanship of the Global Energy Storage Alliance, India currently has the leadership of global alliances in solar, smart grid and energy storage. It’s a testament to the growing importance of India in the global energy sector.

What’s the way forward in 2019? What can be achieved and what might hold energy storage back?

Energy storage can play an important role in renewable integration, energy access, electric mobility and smart cities initiatives by the Government. IESA estimates the market for energy storage will grow to over 300GWh during the years 2018 to 2025. India is expected to attract investment in up to four ‘Gigafactories’ for advanced Li-ion batteries, attracting over US$3Billion in investments in the next 3 years.

We expect 2019 to be a year of opportunities for energy storage sector especially in terms of manufacturing, assembling, energy storage project developments, equipment supply, R&D of technology enhancement etc. More and more foreign as well as Indian technology players are going to explore this sector in the coming years. 

In India, with the ever-rising fossil fuel imports and rapid urbanisation choking many cities with harmful pollution, the need for adoption of clean energy became more of a compulsion than a choice.

India is moving rapidly towards renewable energy (RE) and e-mobility. With the government moving on top gear to reach the 2022 RE goals, RE capacity would rise to 25% of the total and grid instability will become a real issue.

Energy storage is central to the successful growth of renewable energy and EVs. The government of India is fully aware of this and is putting in place the Electrical Energy Storage Mission. In the next few years, a lot of movement and rapid change in the market is expected.

It is high time for policymakers to take decisive action if India is to really tap into the estimated 300GWh opportunity for domestic manufacturing over the next four years. Electric vehicles, behind-the-meter and grid-scale energy storage are key applications to help the Indian government meet wind and solar targets as well as meeting the energy access goals.

However, cost can be seen as one factor derailing the rapid adoption of energy storage. We also still need the removal of barriers such as the higher rate of GST (18% for batteries versus 5% for solar) and import duties in order to kick start the advanced energy storage market in India.

The government of India also has a goal of at least 30% of its vehicles running on electric by 2030. If we can have sufficient public charging facilities which can be used for charging EVs during the day, then this can actually solve a problem of low net loads during the times when maximum solar energy is being produced.

In conclusion, with the impending launch of the National Energy Storage Mission, we expect 2019 to be a year of action rather than a year of mere discussions and promises. Over the past two to three years, we have received a number of mixed signals from policy makers that have prevented major investments to flow in India for the energy storage sector. Still we have a wonderful opportunity to tap investments and fuel innovation with domestic ingenuity and global partnerships.

Modi fires starting gun on India’s National Energy Storage Mission

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi made an official commitment towards the launch of the country’s first National Energy Storage Mission yesterday at a ministerial event also attended by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.

The Indian government Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is currently hosting an event in Delhi for the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), protecting and promoting the trade and transport interests of the world’s third largest ocean, an extended region which according to the Ministry in fact represents approximately 15% of global energy demand. At the same time, the International Solar Alliance is meeting at a parallel event as well as the 2nd Global RE-INVEST Meet & Expo, which as the name suggests focuses on international renewable energy investments.

Modi spoke at a joint launch for the IORA, RE-INVEST and International Solar Alliance events. The prime minister, sometimes criticised for his populist and perceived nationalist stance, has overseen something of an explosion in the Indian solar market since his inauguration in 2014, with PV Tech/Energy-Storage.news deputy editor Tom Kenning often reporting on big projects in solar and a growth in interest in energy storage, including tenders to add batteries or other storage to some of those large-scale solar projects.

In the last 150 to 200 years, Modi said, mankind has depended on fossil fuels. He said that as a transition to renewable sources of energy continues, he hoped the International Solar Alliance would be “at the top of the list” of organisations working to further the “welfare of mankind”. The alliance was officially launched in March this year with a goal to drive the deployment of 1,000GW of PV and attract US$1 trillion in funding by 2030. Meanwhile, India will work to meet the terms of the Paris Agreement, aiming for 40% of total energy requirements in the country to come from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030, developing self-confidence to go from “Poverty to Power”.

Although not included in the official MNRE release, domestic news outlet the Economic Times of India reported further remarks from Modi that India has attracted investment of some US$42 billion in renewables during his four year tenure to date and could attract investments or generate business opportunities worth US$70 billion to US$80 billion in the next four years across the whole clean energy space.

As well also extolling the potential virtues of biomass, bio-fuel and bio-energy including waste-to-fuel for India and describing the overall transition to a clean grid as an opportunity as much as a challenge, Modi announced plans to launch the National Energy Storage Mission. The prime minister said it would involve manufacturing, deployment, technology development and policy framework although further details were not forthcoming.

The National Energy Storage Mission was first announced in February of this year by an MNRE-convened expert committee, which led to a draft document being published in August, created by NITI Aayog – (the National Institution for Transforming India) and US think-tank Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). The draft focused heavily on the manufacturing side, which is unsurprising given Modi’s thirst to pursue ‘Make in India’ policies and give consideration to domestic content requirements in technology and industry. Perhaps viewing the manufacturing value chain as a virtuous circle beginning with e-mobility, the draft was almost exclusively about electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing and how best to support it.

Storage retrofit will combat curtailment and constraints for India’s first solar-wind hybrid project

The first ever wind and solar hybrid project in India, completed in April 2018, is to be retrofitted with energy storage after strong winds this year led to a curtailment of solar production.

Speaking to our sister site PV Tech at the REI Expo in Greater Noida, Rahul Munjal, chairman of Delhi-headquartered clean energy firm Hero Future Energies, said the plan is to use lithium-ion battery storage technology and the firm is currently in the process of procuring a technology supplier.

Munjal added: “The hybrid plant saw extremely good winds this year and when it saw good winds we had to back down solar because there was a constraint on the capacity we could put on the grid.

“Now to augment that, we feel the right thing to do is rather than waste the energy, store it.”

The second reason for adding a battery is that Hero wants to learn more about the technology by using it on its own plants and the battery will act as a pilot. If the trial goes well, then Hero will consider retrofitting some of its other renewable energy projects with storage in the future.

The hybrid plant is located in the state of Karnataka and PV Tech attended the inauguration in April this year, publishing a lengthy insight on the project. The plant at Kavithal, Raichur District, which included an existing 50MW wind farm, now has a neighbouring 28.8MW solar PV site to form a hybrid system. The project’s evacuation capacity remained at 50MW since the primary aim was to address grid-integration concerns around variable power coming from renewable energy. The off-takers of the power are a number of unnamed private companies also based in Karnataka. 

Back in April, Munjal said he believes that large-scale coupling with energy storage will proliferate in the next two to three years, although price remains a problem for now.

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) recently issued a Request for Selection (RfS) document for 2.5GW of hybrid wind and solar projects to be connected to the Interstate Transmission System (ISTS).

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has also issued an amendment to its National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy, clarifying that any form of energy storage – not just batteries – can be used in hybrid projects.

SECI to invite bids for 160MW solar-wind-storage project in Andhra Pradesh next week

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) will issue a request for bids (RfB) for a 160MW hybrid solar and wind project combined with battery energy storage in the state of Andhra Pradesh on 20 August.

The tender for the hybrid project at Ramagiri, Anantapur District, has been on the cards for some time after SECI reached out to industry to establish how much interest there is in providing EPC services for it via an Expressions of Interest (EOI) issuance back in January.

The contract will be for design, engineering, supply, construction, erection, testing and commissioning of the hybrid plant, including 10 years of operations and maintenance (O&M) services. The contract will be awarded via international competitive bidding.

SECI has applied for financing from the World Bank to go towards the cost of the project.

A pre-bid meeting will be held on 31 August and the deadline for bid submissions will be 1 October.

Shared infrastructure for the project is likely to be provided by New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (NREDCAP) while transmission evacuation facilities will be provided by Andhra Pradesh Transmission Company Limited (AP Transco). When first announced, the energy storage element of the project was tabbed at 40MWh capacity.

This project could become the largest and amongst the first of its kind built in India. However a smaller pilot project is also being planned in Kerala, as reported by PV Tech back in December 2017.

In March, Indian power minister R.K. Singh called on battery-based energy storage manufacturers to set up manufacturing units in India, particularly given the new focus on hybrid projects through the government’s recently finalised National Wind-Solar Hybrid policy, under which all forms of energy storage are eligible to be included in projects.

ROUNDUP: Concerned Scientists on Cali gas, Tesla Shanghai EV factory, India clarifies hybrid policy

Union of Concerned Scientists maps path for California gas retirements

California can continue to retire large numbers of natural gas plants and still meet its energy needs using a mix of technologies including combined cycle gas turbines (CCGT), solar and batteries, a US Union of Concerned Scientists report has found.

Despite making renewables 29% of its energy mix in 2017, the US state was still using natural gas plants to meet 33% of its electricity demand that year. Using the grid analytics platform GridPath, UCS authors Mark G Specht and Laura M Wisland “present modelling results that shed light on the transition away from natural gas generation in California’s electricity system,” analysing the operations of 89 natural gas simple-cycle peaker plants and CCGT plants in transmission system operator CAISO’s service area.

Capping carbon emissions at 42 million metric tonnes (MMT) by 2030 and one for 30 MMT by 2030 under twin scenarios, UCS modelled impacts on peak loads throughout day and night-times. In summary, it argues strongly that California needs a plan for its gas plant retirements.

Among its findings it said that in a 42 MMT scenario “CCGTs, imports, and peakers play the largest role in meeting the evening ramp, with pumped storage and batteries playing only a small role.” Conversely, in the 30 MMT scenario, “CCGTs, imports, and batteries are the most important resources for meeting the evening ramp”. The report’s release comes a couple of weeks after a UCS blog argued that energy storage should be “an urgent national priority” for the US.

Tesla will be Shanghai’s biggest foreign (manufacturing) investor

The largest foreign manufacturing investment project into Shanghai has been confirmed – a deal by Tesla to build a factory in the Chinese mega-city.

A video was released this week by city officials of a press conference in Chinese. The electric vehicle (EV) factory will have an annual output of 500,000 cars, making it the largest foreign investment into manufacturing in Shanghai so far, deputy director of the Shanghai Economic and Information Committee Huang Ou said. The factory will be located in Lingang and Shanghai municipal authorities will apparently help Tesla to complete the project as soon as possible.

Local news outlet China Daily also reported that Tesla will set up an EV research, development and innovation centre. According to China Daily, the deal has been signed by Shanghai Lingang Area Development Administration and Lingang Group.

The news comes just a few days after a tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated an intention to take the company into private ownership. Musk clarified his position yesterday with a letter to shareholders, explaining that investors from a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund had been trying to persuade the California tech and energy company to do so for close to two years.

Translation by Lili Zhu, PV Tech China

India picks technology agnostic approach for adding storage to wind-solar hybrids

India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued an amendment to its National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy, clarifying that any form of energy storage – not just batteries – can be used in hybrid projects.

Parts of the original policy had specified ‘battery storage’ thereby restricting other forms of storage such as pumped hydro, compressed air, and flywheels, among others. The word ‘battery’ has now been removed from the relevant clauses of the policy to remove any ambiguity.

Clause 5.4 now reads: “Storage may be added to the hybrid project (i) to reduce the variability of output power from wind solar hybrid plant; (ii) providing higher energy output for a given capacity (bid/ sanctioned capacity) at delivery point, by installing additional capacity of wind and solar power in a wind solar hybrid plant; and (iii) ensuring availability of firm power for a particular period.

“Bidding factors for wind solar hybrid plants with storage may include minimum firm power output throughout the day or for defined hours during the day, extent of variability allowed in output power, unit price of electricity, etc.”

The hybrid policy was finalised in May this year. In Late June, Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) then issued a Request for Selection (RfS) document for 2.5GW of hybrid wind and solar projects to be connected to the Interstate Transmission System (ISTS).

This story by Tom Kenning.

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