The government is planning to come up with bids for 4,000 mega-watt-hour (Mwh) of electricity storage contracts, which will be utilized by power systems operators to enhance the security of the electricity grid to balance supply fluctuations from renewable energy based power sources, Union power minister RK Singh said on Thursday. The storage capacity will be equally divided among the four regional load dispatch centres (RLDCs) which “will act as instant intervention mechanism wherever and whenever there are sharp fluctuation because of renewables,” the minister said.
This will be the largest battery storage contract to be tendered in the country, as most of the power storage tenders floated till date has been for 8-10 Mwh. The larger storage tenders floated till date in the country include a a 3,200 Mwh tender by the Transmission Corporation of Andhra Pradesh and a 1,000 Mwh storage contract by NTPC. The government has already approved the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme on battery storage for achieving manufacturing capacity of 50,000 Mwh with an outlay of Rs 18,100 crore. Based on an analysis conducted by PwC, the total cumulative potential for battery storage in India will be 5,50,000 MWh by 2030.
Speaking at the inaugural of the conference on self reliance in renewable energy equipment manufacturing organised by the CII, the minister added that since the PLI scheme for solar manufacturing was announced, the government has received interest for building “large quantities” of solar equipment in the country. The Centre has announced a Rs 4,500-crore PLI scheme for solar manufacturing where beneficiaries will be selected through competitive bidding and the evaluation of the bids will be done on the basis of manufacturing capacity proposed to be set up by companies and the extent of elementary products required for manufacturing solar panels they promise to make in the country.
“Our initial estimates are that bids amounting to 30 giga-watt (GW) would be submitted under the PLI scheme,” Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi, secretary, ministry of new and renewable energy said in another panel discussion at the same event on Thursday. As on date, the 3 GW of cell manufacturing units and the 10 GW of domestic solar module makers have to import most of their components from outside. To boost domestic manufacturing, the Centre had imposed a 25% safeguard duty on solar imports from China and Malaysia in July 2018 for two years, which was extended to July 2021, at a rate of 15%. From the beginning of FY23, solar module and cell imports will attract a basic customs duty of 40% and 25%, respectively.
The minister reiterated that the government will put green hydrogen consumption obligations on fertiliser producers and petroleum refiners to create a market for green hydrogen. Solar and wind plants can produce green hydrogen with the help of electrolysers. Setting up a manufacturing unit for electrolysers was a part of the recent Rs 75,000 crore green energy investment announcement recently made by Reliance Industries. “I believe the Adanis have also informed me that they will also propose to set up electrolyser manufacturing capacity,” the minister said.