HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh is planning to develop a 160 MW solar-wind hybrid project with battery back-up facility.
Significantly, this is the first such project to be developed in the country.
Recently, Tesla announced the commissioning of a 100 MW power pack system, the world’s largest, in Jamestown, Australia. G Adiseshu, Managing Director of AP Solar Power Corporation, told BusinessLine that “this will be first such large-scale hybrid project to be attempted in the country with a battery back-up facility.”
“A 28 MW project has been tendered by NTPC in the Andamans with back-up facility. The commissioning of the 160 MW project in Anantapur within 18 months will pave the way for more such projects,” he said. The project, to come up in a strong wind zone of Ramagiri in Anantapur, will have 120 MW of solar, 40 MW of wind and a battery back-up facility of 40 MW.
While the solar and wind energy projects would be offered for development through the competitive biding process, the battery back-up will be funded by a soft loan from the World Bank, he said.
The project, to be developed on a 750-800 acre site, is expected to be tendered out by the Solar Energy Corporation of India.
Solar-wind energy hybrid projects are relatively new for India, and projects of this nature are expected to set the tone for future projects. The overall cost of a battery-backed renewable energy project would be known once such projects get implemented, he said.
In the past, wind had feed-in tariffs, but lately they, like the solar energy projects, are also being offered through competitive bidding. The costs of solar and wind energy have been gradually dropping over the past couple of years and it has become attractive to set up plants in the country. However, the battery back-up systems, which make the projects even more reliable, would be an innovation, he explained.
“If some recent tenders are considered, a battery-backed project works out to about ₹10 crore per MW. However, we will have to wait and watch how these tenders discover price,” he explained.
The southern States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have been very aggressively promoting renewable energy projects. The former, due to its location advantage, has also seen big capacity addition in the wind sector.