Author: Energy Storage News

India’s Madhya Pradesh consults on 500MW of energy storage and manufacturing

Indian firm Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company (MPPMCL) has invited expressions of interest (EOI) for setting up 500MW of grid-scale energy storage capacity as well as a storage manufacturing facility in the central Indian state.

Under prime minister Narendra Modi’s first term heading the government, the Saubhagya Yojna electrification scheme brought an extra 2.7 million customers online in Madhya Pradesh, where distribution companies now supply power to 11.5 million domestic consumers out of a total population of 82.3 million.

On top of the added pressure on the grid from a major uptick in customers, India is also seeing increasing penetration of solar and wind generation, which brings its own grid integration challenges. With its wide availability of barren lands, Madhya Pradesh is a well-suited state for such clean energy ventures, although power demand is limited when compared to many other states. As of 31 January, the state has 3,827MW of installed renewable energy – 19.3% of its energy mix.

Current ‘Must-Run’ rules for renewables in India, mean that renewable energy generation cannot be curtailed by distribution companies (Discoms) even if there is more supply than demand, which then requires Discoms to curtail other generation units and bear the costs of a fixed cost contract.

The state government expressed its intention in the EOI document to maintain quality, reliability and security of the grid for the benefit of consumers and for this ancillary services were needed. Such services from energy storage systems could maintain grid frequency and network voltages among other capabilities.

The increasing share of renewables, MPPMCL said, necessitates maintaining adequate active power reserves and reactive power sources.

Utility-scale storage is expected to play a prominent role in providing the necessary ancillary services in the state, whether through batteries, pumped hydro storage, compressed air energy storage, flywheels or other forms of storage technology. MPPMCL expressed some added interest in chemical batteries due to their flexibility in modular design, higher efficiencies, wide-ranging discharge times and lower maintenance costs.

Energy storage will also be able to smooth out electricity supply from wind and solar and ensure supply matches demand thus relieving Discoms from further financial burdens of curtailment.

The aim of the EOI is to invite global companies to demonstrate their technologies and share their experiences before developing up to 500MW of storage capacity with at least 8 hours of discharge per day and continuous discharge capabilities for 3 hours.

Any technology can be proposed and micro-grids with batteries for grid stabilisation are eligible.

Manufacturers and services providers for storage can also use the EoI to interact with the government of Madhya Pradesh as the first step in its plan to become a hub for storage manufacturing.

Companies have two months to submit their proposals.

Having gone quiet for some time, India this year reignited interest in its storage and solar-plus-storage sectors with two major tenders from Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). The government is also now interested in gravity-based storage.

India invites proposals for gravity-based energy storage projects

India is looking at gravity-based energy storage to take advantage of the technology’s short response times and flexibility when it comes to grid integration of clean energy sources.

With the South Asian nation’s increasing penetration of renewable energy onto the grid, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has been compelled to look at energy storage proposals via a research programme. The programme covers a spectrum of technologies, in the knowledge that different storage products will be more suitable to different applications and that the demands on any single storage system can vary across locations.

In a notice describing gravity-based storage, MNRE stated: “In such systems, electricity is used to lift mass to higher elevation thereby storing potential energy and lowering this mass discharges the energy which can again be converted to electricity. Globally, a number of entities are working in this segment.”

Energy-Storage.news is as aware of at least two companies who are providing such storage systems. Swiss company Energy Vault has made its gravity-based technology (pictured above) commercially available and Indian energy giant Tata Power expected to be the first customer. Meanwhile, a UK-based company, known as Gravitricity, also offers such technology, which it describes on its website as a huge “clock weight” with a cylindrical weight of up to 3,000 tonnes suspended in a deep shaft by a number of cables.

MNRE has now invited preliminary project proposals on ‘Gravity Storage’, that will be examined by a committee before shortlisted proposals are then invited to submit a final proposal.

The stated aim of the invitation is “to develop state of the art technical know-how and develop a prototype system that has commercialisation potential in the short term.”

Proposals should be sent to MNRE by the end of this month.

A technical analysis of how India’s plans for 175GW renewable power by 2022 will get integrated to the Indian power grid, can be found in this report from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

India approves National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage

India’s Union Cabinet chaired by prime minister Narendra Modi has approved the ‘National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage’, with a focus on local manufacturing across the whole supply chain for electric vehicles (EV) including battery and cell manufacturing.

The mission includes a five-year phased manufacturing program to set up “a few large-scale, export-competitive integrated batteries and cell-manufacturing Giga plants in India”. This also includes such a program to localise production across the entire EV value chain.

A phased roadmap to implement battery manufacturing at Giga-scale will be considered with an initial focus on large-scale module and pack assembly plants by 2019-20, followed by integrated cell manufacturing by 2021-22.

Energy storage analysts and industry members have consistently said over recent years that any major push in EVs across India will naturally help to spur the stationary storage industry given the synchronicities across lithium-ion batteries at present and the likely reduction in battery costs for both sectors as a result. Thus, the stated focus on electric mobility of the Mission should not be of concern to the stationary storage lobby.

Indeed, the approval notice also stated: “These solutions will help improve air quality in cities along with reducing India’s oil import dependence and enhance the uptake of renewable energy and storage solutions.”

However, Energy-Storage.news has previously highlighted how India’s draft National Energy Storage Mission had focused almost exclusively on manufacturing and reducing costs of domestic EV batteries, with little mention of stationary storage.

Nonetheless, the new National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage approval comes simultaneously to India’s second attempt at kicking off its large-scale solar-plus-storage ambitions. Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has now released two major tenders including 1.2GW of solar PV combined with 3,600MWh of energy storage connected to the national grid, as well as a smaller tender for 200MW solar with 300MWh of storage in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Significant market potential

Debi Prasad Dash, executive director of India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), said: “We welcome the cabinet’s decision on setting up of National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage. […] This announcement is the result of the work done over the past 6 years by India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) along with various state agencies, as well as central government departments including MNRE, MOP, and NITI Aayog on different aspects related to energy storage policy. The mission also suggested to have the steering committee with representation of 8 ministries & departments, which will definitely bring appropriate co-ordination on appropriate policy creation.

“India has a significant market potential for batteries and electric vehicles. Electric vehicles are creating a big demand and due to this demand, the cost of batteries will further come down.  IESA estimates the market for energy storage would grow to over 300GWh during 2018-25. IESA is working with various EV & charging infrastructure companies through its MOVE (Moving Onwards with Vehicle electrification) initiative to catalyze the adoption through indigenous manufacturing of EV components. Currently, more than 10 companies are doing module and Li-Ion pack assembling in India and we’re expecting 4-5 large companies to enter cell manufacturing in the next 2-3 years. With appropriate policy support through this mission, Indian companies will be able to diversify into energy storage business. Through Make In India initiative, India will able to compete with the countries like China, Australia, Germany, USA, Taiwan, South Korea other Li-Ion manufacturing countries.”

India’s latest ‘big step’: 200MW / 300MWh of solar-plus-storage up for tender

India has released another significant solar-plus-storage tender – this time in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) invited bids for 200MW of grid-connected solar projects to be combined with 300MWh of battery energy storage.

This will include two separate 100MW PV projects, each with 150MWh of batteries at the Galiveedu Site of Ananthapuramu Ultra Mega Solar Park, and at the Talaricheruvu Solar Park.

The latest news confirms India’s reignition of its large-scale solar and storage plans. Last week, after SECI announced a tender for 1.2GW of ISTS-connected solar to be combined with 3,600MWh of energy storage, Dr Rahul Walawalkar, president, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) and CES (India), told our sister site PV Tech: “This is the big and long-awaited step and we can see that in the last four months the government’s seriousness towards the sector after some unfortunate cancellations of tenders for over 100MWh in 2017-18. IESA had strongly protested the cancellations and delays in implementation of the storage projects, and we are hopeful that this time, the government will prioritize these projects and see them through to implementation.”

Although the latest tender is far smaller than last week’s, it is still pioneering as one of the first such large-scale solar and storage tenders in India. Similar attempts in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were cancelled in 2017, as mentioned by Walawalkar.

SECI has also invited bids for 1.2GW of Interstate Transmission System (ISTS)-connected solar projects in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, and 275MW of grid-connected PV projects in a solar park in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

All the detailed Request for Selection Documents (RfS) for the three tenders shall be available by 30 March.

India takes ‘long-awaited step’ for large-scale solar and energy storage

After disappointing tender cancellations in 2017-18, India looks set to bring large-scale solar-plus-storage back into the picture, with what the chief of the India Energy Storage Alliance has described as ‘the long-awaited step’.

Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has announced three huge tenders across the country with various combinations of solar, energy storage, wind and hybrid concepts, to be connected to the Interstate Transmission System (ISTS):

  • 1.2GW of solar PV projects
  • 1.2GW of solar PV combined with 3,600MWh of energy storage
  • 1.2GW of wind-solar hybrid projects.

The government has previously made it clear that energy storage capacities can also be included in the hybrid projects.

The Request for Selection (RfS) documents for all three tenders will be released on 8 March.

Vinay Rustagi, managing director of the consultancy firm, Bridge to India, told PV Tech that at this stage, SECI is just issuing the notices and the tender documents are clearly not ready yet. It is likely that the rush is to circumvent the two-month policy hiatus that usually precedes a general election – likely to start from 5 March in this case.

IESA view

Dr Rahul Walawalkar, president, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) and CES (India), commented on the latest tenders:

As your readers know, the Indian government is on verge of launching the National Energy Storage Mission (NESM). Demand creation is a key component of the national energy storage mission, and the ultimate goal is to make India a global hub for R&D and manufacturing of advanced energy storage technologies. Since the announcement of NESM by Hon. prime minister Shri. Narendra Modi on 2 October 2018, various government agencies have already released 5+ request for proposals (RfPs) for RE integration. This includes a tender for 20MW of floating solar PV projects with 60MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) by SECI on a turnkey basis in the union territory of Lakshadweep for multiple locations. Another large tender by a transmission utility has called for 400MW for 3-8 Hr of storage for RE integration which would also create a 1.2 to 3.2 GWh RfP for storage.  

The IESA team is in touch with SECI and MNRE to get more details on the RfS for 1.2GW solar combined with 3,600MWh of storage. CEA and CERC have already recommended inclusion of energy storage with solar and wind hybrids, so we also anticipate that in addition to the 3.6GWh storage project, other hybrid tenders will also have an opportunity for storage technologies to be included.

This is the big and long-awaited step and we can see that in the last 4 months the government’s seriousness towards the sector after some unfortunate cancellations of tenders for over 100MWh in 2017-18. IESA had strongly protested the cancellations and delays in implementation of the storage projects, and we are hopeful that this time, the government will prioritize these projects and see them through to implementation.

We are also seeing strong leadership from private companies such as AES and Mitsubishi, which deployed the 1st 10MWh stationary energy storage in New Delhi earlier this month.

Storage leap

While all the announcements are likely to be part of a plan to fast-track approval from MNRE since the unique new tender parameters will have taken time to concoct, Rustagi noted: “The fact remains that India doesn’t need as much renewable power as the tender programme of the government suggests, and we’ve seen so many tenders being cancelled or undersubscribed.

“One hopes that quality of these schemes would not be compromised in the last minute rush.”

Besides this week’s issuances, seven tenders with a total storage capacity of 84MWh combined with 78MW of solar PV had been issued in the last 12 months, according to Bridge to India figures.

Rustagi described the new 1.2GW solar / 3,600MWh tender as “a huge step up”, given that clearly, the cost of power will be very high. However, it is difficult to comment without the full tender details on off-take and ceiling tariffs.

He also said it would be interesting to see what kind of government support may be added, such as viability gap funding (VGF), because Bridge to India believes that making the distribution companies (Discoms) bear the extra costs would be unrealistic.

Solar and storage tenders over the last year have been issued by SECI, NTPC and NLC mostly in remote areas of Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Himachal Pradesh and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. There have also been 760MW of new wind-solar hybrid tenders in Andhra Pradesh with the option of adding storage.

Bridge to India tabs the country’s current grid-scale commissioned storage capacity at just 10.75MWh. 

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.

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