IL&FS Energy Development Company has selected GE to study the feasibility of integrated wind, solar, and energy storage projects in Ramagiri, Andhra Pradesh and Nana Layja, Gujarat, India.The initiative is in line with trade outlines made during the US-India Business Council Summit of 2015 which included plans of investing around $2bn in renewable energy projects in India.IL&FS Energy managing director Sunil Wadhwa said: “Energy storage technologies are essential to the integration of renewables. They help to address the variability of wind and solar PV generation and make renewable energy more acceptable to the grid.
“For commercial deployment of these technologies, a robust regulatory framework needs to be in place. The flexibility and cost reductions that energy storage technologies provide to grid infrastructure would allow India to achieve an efficient, low-carbon intensity trajectory. The current challenge, however, is to address the initial high cost through a regulatory framework.”Last year, IL&FS Energy had entered into a grant agreement with the the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to conduct a techno-economic feasibility study to find out the best possible way of integrating wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) installations with energy storage solutions so as to create dispatchable, utility-scale renewable energy projects.
Under the study, GE will design a wind, solar and energy storage plant, provide estimates of its capital and operational costs and develop a business plan that would include viability gap funding which is required for project commercialization.GE Energy Consulting business technical director Sundar Venkataraman said: “Energy storage can be particularly helpful for integrating variable renewable generation in India since the technical infrastructure and market mechanisms available at the disposal of many other power grids are not yet available in the country.
“As the costs start to come down, energy storage will become an integral part of India’s grid.
“By taking a look at the impact of renewable integration with energy storage systems on India’s power grid, we can provide valuable information to help the country best design its future grid.”GE hopes to complete the project by mid-2016.Last month, GE won a contract from Belgian Eco Energy to construct a 100% biomass-fired power plant in Ghent.The plant will be powered by wood chips and agro residues. It can generate about 215MW of clean energy for the industry as well as for nearby households.