The MNRE has issued an amendment to the National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy in which it has removed the term “battery” from the relevant clauses. According to the ministry, the change has been made to broaden the definition of the term “storage” by including technologies other than batteries such as pumped hydro, compressed air, flywheel, etc. to facilitate the growth of the segment. Earlier, the policy defined storage only in terms of battery energy storage systems (BESS), which restricted the application of the other technologies.
As per the memorandum, the amended clause states that storage may be added to the hybrid project to:
- Reduce the variability of output power from wind solar hybrid plant.
- Provide higher energy output for a given capacity at delivery point, by installing additional capacity of wind and solar power in a wind solar hybrid plant.
- Ensure availability of firm power for a particular period.
The notification adds that the bidding factors for wind-solar hybrid plants with storage may include minimum firm power output throughout the day or for defined hours during the day, extent of variability allowed in output power, unit price of electricity, etc.
The wind-solar hybrid policy, announced in May 2018, aims to provide a framework for the expansion of grid-connected hybrid systems in the country to help attain the 175 GW renewable energy target for 2022. Subsequently, the central and state governments are actively promoting such projects. The Gujarat government recently announced its policy on wind-solar hybrid power projects to effectively utilise both the resources in the state. In addition, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has tendered 2.5 GW of hybrid power projects. SECI has also issued a tender to develop 160 MW of hybrid power project with energy storage at Ramagiri, Andhra Pradesh. Recently, the United States Trade and Development Agency provided a grant to the IL&FS Energy Development Company Limited for the development of a 41 MW hybrid power project with energy storage power project in Andhra Pradesh.