India’s energy storage on the increase

India’s first large-scale battery energy storage system has been launched, adding to the gathering storage momentum there.
Published: Fri 13 May 2016

Energy storage is rapidly gathering momentum in India, with the fast growing number of pilot and demonstration and now large scale projects. [Engerati-India Poised To Join Energy Storage Revolution]

Energy storage market in India

India’s energy storage market was estimated at approximately 4.4GW in 2015, with the backup inverter market comprising over 60% of this, according to the India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA).

A 2014 market study by the Alliance estimated a market potential of 15-20GW of storage by 2020. In its recent update, which “takes into consideration current opportunities as well as a detailed overview of various growth scenarios and key government initiatives”, the Alliance has revised the potential significantly upward to over 70GW and 200GWh by 2022.

Of this over 35GW of the demand is expected from newer applications like wind and solar integration, frequency regulation, peak management, T&D deferral, diesel usage optimisation and electric vehicles.

According to the Alliance, the lack of reliable grid power, growth in sales of electric rickshaws (e-trikes), reduction in use of diesel gensets and integration of solar PV with the grid at both ground and rooftop levels and in microgrids is likely to boost the sales of battery based energy storage throughout the country. Some of these applications are growing at over 35% year on year. 

Advanced energy storage technologies that have already started penetrating the Indian market include Li-ion, which is already being implemented in telecom towers. Nickel-based batteries are gaining momentum in applications like standby support for C&I consumers. Flow batteries are likely to gain market momentum in diesel replacement, microgrids and solar integration in the next couple of years.

Energy storage projects in India

The Alliance anticipates that based on the Energy Storage Roadmap recommended to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) by USAID in May 2015, many of the demonstration projects for large-scale renewable integration are likely to kick-start in 2016 and 2017. Announcements of 50-100MW of demonstration projects are expected in 2016.

Some recent project developments include:

• Power Grid Corporation (PGCIL) is working on three MW-scale demonstration projects. Two demonstration projects with Li-ion and advanced Pb-acid are being installed while bids for the third flow battery project recently closed.

• Solar Energy Corporation (SECI) has issued a tender for a 2.5MW wind-solar hybrid with 1MWh of storage. (The tender closed 12 May 2016.) SECI also is working on an RFP for up to 100MW of storage at a 750MW solar park at Ananthapuramu in Andhra Pradesh.

• MNRE has received more than 40 applications for demonstration projects under an Expression of Interest.

• Gujarat International Financetech City (GIFT) has issued an RFP for evaluating up to 40MW of storage.

• NTPC is exploring options for a 20MW solar storage project for Andaman Nicobar Island.

• Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) has announced its intention to integrate storage at a 500MW solar park under construction in Rajasthan. IL&FS has also contracted with GE to examine the feasibility of integrated wind, solar and energy storage projects at its sites in Ramagiri in Andhra Pradesh and Nana Layja in Gujarat.

First large-scale battery project

Alongside these, what is set to be the first large-scale battery storage project in India has been launched by Panasonic India and AES India, which will construct a 10MW system at Panasonic’s Technopark manufacturing facility in Jhajjar, Haryana.

The storage, which will utilize Panasonic batteries certified to AES Energy Storage’s Advancion design, will provide reliability and back-up to the manufacturing facility, while demonstrating grid stability and renewable integration services in the region.

In addition to being a first for India, the project is also the first commercial energy storage project of Panasonic with AES. As such it will serve as a demonstration for this very lucrative market.

Says Manish Sharma, executive officer of Panasonic Corporation and president and CEO of Panasonic India: “Panasonic India’s partnership with AES signifies the convergence of synergies to deliver reliable, cost-competitive solutions to meet growing energy demand. This association further establishes our commitment and capabilities to providing smart energy storage solutions.”

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