Anert to set up microgrid at Marayur, hybrid renewable energy system at Ramakkalmedu
Hybrid power plants, microgrids, and energy storage systems are set to transform Kerala’s power sector as the State seeks to enlarge the share of renewable energy in its total installed capacity.
The Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (Anert) has taken up a pilot project to establish a microgrid at the Marayur tribal settlement in Idukki.
The 25-kilowatt grid-connected hybrid system incorporates rooftop solar panels and diesel generators to provide uninterrupted power supply to the residents.
“The project is being implemented with assistance from the Union Ministry of Electronics and IT. It is expected to be commissioned soon,” says R. Harikumar, Director, Anert.
Each of the 25 households in the village will be provided with four LED bulbs, a ceiling fan, and a plug-in socket. The excess power will be used to light the street lamps in the village. The project is being implemented by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).
Multiple power sources
A decentralised system, the microgrid involves multiple power sources and allows for larger deployment of renewable energy sources.
It can be used as back-up power or to stabilise the main grid during peak load. One of the advantages of the microgrid approach is that it empowers consumers in a flexible energy economy.
Anert has also joined hands with Keltron and C-DAC to set up a hybrid renewable energy system (HRES) at Ramakkalmedu in Idukki.
The grid-interactive system will also be a demonstration park for indigenous solar, wind and energy storage technologies.
The first phase of the project involves the construction of a 1-MW solar plant and demonstration units for photovoltaic cell and solar tracking technologies. The battery-based energy storage system will provide back-up power to address the grid instability caused by the intermittent power generated from renewable energy sources like solar arrays and wind turbines.
“Even though energy storage technologies are costly and still in a developing stage, the project will help Kerala build up technical expertise in this area,” says K. Premkumar, scientist, Anert.
Talks with KSEB
Anert has opened talks with the Kerala State Electricity Board on evacuation of power from the hybrid plant. It also has plans to incorporate wind turbines at a later stage to increase the overall capacity.