Scope, Prospects & benefits for greenfield Hybrid projects with Energy Storage
Wind-Solar hybrid projects offer couple of clear advantages in the utility scale that is economically difficult to overlook. Firstly, the complementarity of Wind & Solar (RE) resources over both the daily or seasonal time frame allows for significantly reducing the power evacuation and transmission cost per unit of generation. Secondly, for a country like India where the pressures on land are immense, it allows for maximizing the utilization from the earmarked land area. Thirdly, allows for a more coordinated operation as a commercially competitive utility scale power plant with co-located Energy Storage batteries (with dispatchable power and fully automated to offer various grid ancillary services). Infact, only such a storage integrated RE operation could allow power systems to optimally and sustainably function in high RE penetration situations.
Solar Parks (32 old and 50 new parks as proposed in early 2017) infrastructure projects present an easy big market for Wind-Solar hybridization, which would increase GW potential from 40 GW to between 50 to 60GW. Hybridization of Solar Parks, allows for power evacuation and transmission lines to be better utilized between sunset and sunrise, which could still be better utilized if storage batteries are employed.
The other niche but attractive market segment is at the National ports. This is directly pegged to the progressive vision plan of Mr. Nitin Gadkari (Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping) as stated at the “Conclave on Green Energy & Oil Spill Management” held at Mumbai on 30 May'17. Mr. Gadkari wanted India to be the first country to have the entire power requirements of government owned ports to be met with renewable energy. The combined Wind and Solar PV potential at all the 12 major national ports would be between 3.5 to 5 GW.
India, thus, presents a huge market for greenfield Hybrid Projects and so can be a World leader in this field. It would, though, need a suitable market oriented policy framework from MNRE to take full advantage of the opportunity. As regards Energy Storage batteries, new considerations needs to be introduced (a) in the EA 2003 (the proposed 2014 Amendment bill) to allow deployment of energy storage batteries (on account of the complexities arising due to its dual nature to operate both as a generator and as a load) and (b) as a regulatory treatment to allow the various valuable services offered by batteries to be monetizable.
Its worth noting that for the above mentioned green field Hybrid projects, there is at the very least 8 GWh of Energy Storage batteries to be deployed over a period of 4 years (over FY19 to FY22). Which, as a result, presents an yearly Energy Storage battery demand of 2 GWh per year.
Shouldn’t we then consider setting up a GW Energy Storage battery factory each at Vizag port and Kandla port?
The combined Wind and Solar PV potential at all the 12 major national ports would be between 3.5 to 5 GW. And this augurs well, with the progressive vision plan stated by Mr. Nitin Gadkari (Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping) at the “Conclave on Green Energy & Oil Spill Management” held at Mumbai on 30 May'17. Mr. Gadkari wanted India to be first country to have the entire power requirements of government owned ports to be met with renewable energy.
Mr. Rajsekhar Budhavarapu
[RE & Energy Storage professional and Thought Leader]