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BESS – Importance, Risks and Opportunities – EQ Mag Pro

BESS – Importance, Risks and Opportunities – EQ Mag Pro


This webinar was held by EQ Magazine Pro on 25th April 2022, powered by Sungrow. In this webinar, battery energy storage systems were discussed. It was moderated by Goutam Samantha, Head PV Technology, Juniper Green Energy.

He said that the energy storage systems are in five different sectors, mechanical storage, electrochemical storage, electrical storage, chemical storage and thermal storage.

Mr Ramesh Krishnamurthy, Sungrow, put his thoughts in front of the panelists and said, “BESS is a booming market for solar PV. As we are a global leader in the BESS market, we have more than 6 gigawatt capacity for ESS manufacturing. So far we have installed more than 1000 applications in the entire globe and for India, we are exploring a lot of tenders.

Mr Subir Karmakar, Deputy General Manager, Engg, NTPC, on asking to share some guidelines on the recent procurement of the utilization of the battery on the solar applications, said, “In the application of battery energy storage system, mainly three types of application possible. Solar energy time shifts where the battery is charged during the solar hour and discharge during the evening peak or anytime when required. Second application possible is solar plant generation smoothing, as the solar generation is not constant, it is intermittent in nature and especially during the monsoon season there is a wide variation in the generation and this variation is up to 50 to 60% within one minute. In this a solar generation then there may be some problem it can create in the grid. Third application is a schedule based solar power dispatch to the grid. In this, during the solar generation hour we can inject directly to the grid as per scheduling. Currently, NTPC has two tenders, one is 500 MW and 3000 MW of BSS standards. From a battery energy cost perspective considering the invested amount of 4 crore rupees, the life of solar is 25 years. In case of BSS, it will give service for 12 years only. The energy of the BSS is very low, that’s why the LCOE in solar is typically ₹2.5 per kilowatt. So if solar energy is stored in a battery then the battery itself will add a delta of ₹8, so at the consumer level the cost will be ₹10.5. By improving the utilization factor, the cost of the electricity from the storage can be further reduced, means during the daytime you’re utilizing the battery but during the night time you’re not utilizing means after discharge of energy there is no utilization so during that time if you use the battery for other application other service application then the utilization of the battery will improve and and at the same time the cost of the energy will also reduce. There is no separate market for this and no clear cut standard for the battery disposal.”

Mr Kartikeya Sharma, Growth and Strategy, Sunsure Energy said, “We are a leading commercial and industrial renewable energy supplier. Within India we have around 250 megawatts of installed capacity across the country. This includes both large scale rooftop as well as open access projects across all major industrial states. Battery energy storage systems are going to play a very key role. Within the C&I sector which is a key focus to come to the forefront. The first one in that is displacing the peak power which currently is being drawn from the discoms at quite a premium. By around 2026-2027, we should see that the costs of batteries will come down. The cost of passing power through the BESS might come from ₹8 per unit to around ₹4 per unit.”

Mr Rajneesh Singh, Vice President, IT and SAP, Rays Power Infra Private Limited, shared his thoughts on challenges and opportunities on the BESS. He said, “The battery energy storage system is a very important and essential requirement nowadays because we are generating electricity in gigawatts but we can’t store it so it’s very essential because everybody wants the electricity at night. If we save energy in the form of batteries then we can use it in the highways and the other infrastructures. It would be a great thing for future POV and we can maintain our entire ecosystem and sustainability. We are starting the R&D in terms of battery storage capacity because as the government is more concerned about the Giga Watt and other things, it will focus more on the battery storage part in the coming upcoming years.”

Mr Debmalya Sen, Manager, Business Consulting, KPMG, put his thoughts in front of the panelists and said, “Battery is a very interesting sector. It was 2015-16, a point of time when people all started the discussion on solar bandwagon started off and it’s today at the same space of battery. So, if we have it does come as an enabler for storage or renewables to grow further. The applications of storage are not only in one sector, they are from the source to the sink; it’s not only in front of the metre but also behind them. If you look just front of the metre you have ancillary services. That is the market starts from there. If you see the Australian market or the US market or the UK market today, it is all starting from that application where you need storage for one hour or maybe 30 minutes. The problem with this market is that it’s not sustainable. If you see the US today, it is slowly moving to energy applications because that market is already saturated and if I talk about even one year back applications were all in the range of 1 hour to 1.5 hours. Today, these are extending to about 3-4 hours and this can actually extend to around 8 hours while we move over to 2040 or 2045. Talking about generations, if you have so much renewables your net load goes down, you need energy arbitrage. We have a lot of policies which have come out all over the years, we have the National Energy Storage Policy which is in the development stage. There was an announcement last year about a waiver of ISTS charges for BESS charging. Defined business models guidelines came out this year on energy storage. We also had this announcement from MNRE about all future RE tenders promoting storage in some form or the other. Also earlier this year, the final version of the ancillary services guidelines came out by CRC.”

Mr J.S. Bhatia, Chief Operating Officer, BVG Clean Energy, put this thoughts on BESS and said, “I would like to draw your attention to a few points. First, whether we require this battery energy storage system on practical ground or not because still we have not formalized or established whether this is bankable or good for business. We believe as an EPC company that the thing which is in the R & D stage and where the technology is not confirmed because technology in this field is changing day by day. So, if there are changes in technology it takes years to change the technology whether it is module, inverter or other parts. In the battery storage system you will see that the changes that have happened from the last few years are very fast and the calculation for investment return ratio and bankability is becoming a major issue. If today you invest as an IPP or as a developer to this system and tomorrow it will come down as the uncertainty level is very high and on the top, the government has not confirmed anything on battery energy storage systems as they have given on ALMM modules. For batteries we don’t have R&D, technology and we are not standing on the cost parameters. So, these are my few worries from this discussion. Battery degradation is another issue that determines whether we will be able to stabilise it or not. The cost as we have discussed is three times from the actual required cost where we feel that ROI should be applicable.”

Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network