Spe­cial Fo­cus

Power Watch India - - CONTENTS - By Harsh Thacker

Large-scale en­ergy stor­age mar­ket in In­dia wit­ness­ing a jump­start, by Harsh Thacker, Se­nior An­a­lyst, CES and IESA.

Last time this year, over 30 re­new­able en­ergy and en­ergy stor­age com­pa­nies in the In­dian mar­ket were busy ap­ply­ing for the Min­istry of New and Re­new­able En­ergy (MNRE) Ex­pres­sion of In­ter­est for RE in­te­gra­tion with en­ergy stor­age. How­ever, the ex­cite­ment soon died down with the de­lay of an­nounce­ment of the re­sults, which are still ex­pected. The lull con­tin­ued with So­lar En­ergy Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia (SECI) ten­ders get­ting de­layed and the only other no­table an­nounce­ment be­ing made by the GIFT City is for a con­sult­ing ten­der for de­sign­ing of a bat­tery en­ergy stor­age ten­der for In­dia’s first financial SEZ project in Gand­hi­na­gar, the cap­i­tal city of Gu­jarat.

How­ever, the sec­ond half of the year is fi­nally al­low­ing en­ergy stor­age man­u­fac­tur­ers, project devel­op­ers and IPPs in the In­dian mar­ket to wit­ness the end of this per­pet­ual wait. With over 37 MW of en­ergy stor­age projects an­nounced/ ten­dered by SECI and NLC (Formerly Neyveli Lig­nite Cor­po­ra­tion), the mar­ket is gear­ing up. These projects will come up in dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try, namely Hi­machal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Kar­nataka and An­daman is­lands. Among the con­tracted, there are 3 MW pi­lot projects for fre­quency reg­u­la­tion ap­pli­ca­tions by Power Grid Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia (PGCIL) in Puducherry. PGCIL projects are likely to en­ter in­stal­la­tion and com­mis­sion­ing phase in a later part of the year.

Apart from these ac­tiv­i­ties, prom­i­nent play­ers in the mar­ket like AES and Pana­sonic have de­clared their own 10 MW Li ion based col­lab­o­ra­tive ESS project at the Pana­sonic white goods fac­tory in Jha­j­jar, Haryana.

These projects to­gether will be worth close to $20 mil­lion for the en­ergy stor­age in­dus­try and will put In­dia on the megawatt scale stor­age projects map with 50 MW and 33.5 MWh in con­trac­tual, ten­der­ing and an­nounce­ment phases. The an­nounce­ments lined up may be even big­ger; spe­cially the NTPC so­lar PV and en­ergy stor­age project in An­daman and Ni­co­bar is ex­pected to ask bid­ders to sub­mit their bids for 7 MW:42MWh of en­ergy stor­age. This is a huge op­por­tu­nity for the global en­ergy stor­age com­mu­nity and some good news for the In­dian elec­tric­ity mar­ket, which is still await­ing in­stal­la­tion of its first megawatt scale bat­tery en­ergy stor­age project. In this re­spect, the In­dian grid scale stor­age mar­ket is lag­ging be­hind coun­tries like the US, China, South Korea and Ja­pan.

But whether this year can make a change is lit­er­ally a mil­lion dol­lar ques­tion.

These cru­sades in the mar­ket have cre­ated a buzz among In­dian con­glom­er­ates and they are now more likely to in­vest in Li-ion cell man­u­fac­tur­ing with over 15 GW of large scaled op­por­tu­ni­ties likely to line up in the next seven years. Apart from these, many in­ter­na­tional bat­tery com­pa­nies - spe­cially flow bat­tery com­pa­nies - are lin­ing up in the mar­ket with more and more is­land projects likely to be an­nounced. They are also keep­ing a close eye on spurt­ing ru­ral mi­cro­grids and so­lar roof-top mar­ket.

The last thing the mar­ket would like to wit­ness are under-pre­pared ten­der­ing and fur­ther de­lays in clos­ing of the ten­ders. Many project devel­op­ers have also asked In­dia En­ergy Stor­age Al­liance for clar­ity in test­ing val­i­da­tion and cer­tifi­cate re­quire­ment for both the com­po­nents used and about the to­tal in­te­grated so­lar plus stor­age sys­tem. Third party test­ing agen­cies like UL and CSA have taken a long shot at the mar­ket and are likely to help other stake­hold­ers. It is ev­i­dent that the en­ergy stor­age busi­ness value chain and sup­port sys­tem is yet to es­tab­lish it­self. How­ever, with these projects lined up, it is high time that the in­dus­try strength­ens its ser­vices and of­fer­ings in the In­dian mar­ket.

On an op­ti­mistic note, with the falling prices of Li-ion chem­istry as many play­ers quote close to $370 per kWh, growth prospects are look­ing un­ques­tion­ably brighter. Can en­ergy stor­age tell a bet­ter growth story than LED or so­lar PV? We cer­tainly hope so, and sus­tain it all the way!

The au­thor is Se­nior An­a­lyst, Cus­tom­ized En­ergy So­lu­tions and In­dia En­ergy Stor­age Al­liance.

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