SECI floats 400 MW tender for round-the-clock renewable energy with energy storage

Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI) has issued a tender to procure 400 MW of renewable energy on round-the-clock basis. Under this tender, solar, wind, and hybrid projects can be developed. The energy procured through these projects will be supplied to the New Delhi Municipal Corporation and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The projects developed under this tender can be constructed anywhere in India and will be connected to the inter-state transmission system (ISTS). Moreover, the renewable power installations can be further augmented with necessary energy storage systems as per the developer’s requirements to meet the criteria of supply of power during the peak hours. The minimum capacity a bidder can apply for is 200 MW, and a maximum capacity of 400 MW can be allocated to a single bidder.

With India aiming to achieve a 175 GW target by 2022, utilities and grid operators have to deal with numerous issues. This is because renewable energy systems face challenges such as periods of excess and shortage in electricity generation. Solar energy systems work best in bright sunlight while hydropower systems work only when there is water and wind energy systems when there is wind. So, the problem faced by countries today pertains to the storage of excess energy, or the reduction in demand during periods of low generation, or both. With energy storage solutions, renewable technologies can continue to power the grid even when the sun has set and the air is still, levelling out jumps in output to create a continuous, reliable stream of power throughout the day.

Technological advancements have helped reduce the cost of Li-ion batteries while increasing their life cycle, thereby positioning them as a key energy storage technology globally. As per industry estimates, the cost of energy storage technologies has declined rapidly over the past 10 years. The cost of Li-ion technology fell from over $1,000 per kWh in 2008 to $300-$400 per kWh in 2018. Other technologies have also witnessed similar trends. The cost of rechargeable vanadium redox batteries fell from $1,000 per kWh in 2008 to about $850 per kWh in 2013 and then to about $500 per kWh in 2018. Meanwhile, the prices of sodium-nickel-chloride batteries and sodium-ion batteries reduced from $1,000 per kWh and $900 per kWh in 2013, respectively, to $700 per kWh and $600 per kWh in 2018. The costs of lead-acid and sodium-sulphur (NaS) batteries have plateaued. NaS prices fell from about $700 per kWh to only $600 per kWh in the past 10 years whereas lead-acid battery cost remained constant at about $200 per kWh. Lead-acid batteries have the lowest cost among all technologies, but also a rather short life cycle.

Read here about the future of the energy grid with the growing uptake of energy storage, EVs and charging infrastructure…


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