Key Highlights From SECI’s RFS for Battery Storage Systems

Highlights :

  • Battery storage with ancillary services will open up a whole new segment for renewable energy and storage together.
  • Large batteries will bring grid stability, more dependable renewable power. Hence, they are vital to India’s long term RE plans.

SECI’s release of the RFS document inviting submissions for Pilot Projects of 500 MW/1000MWh Standalone Battery Energy Storage Systems in India finally gets the process started on this critical aspect of the future for renewable energy. We bring you some key highlights from the document. At the outset, the RFS, for the first time acknowledges the scope of ancillary services, and their revenue generating potential for bidders.

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The document quotes a CEA report on how Pumped Hydro Storage System (PSP) and Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) are the commercially deployed solutions for providing requisite storage capacity. “The said CEA Study has revealed that the planning model selects the battery energy storage system from the year 2027-28 onwards and a Battery Energy Storage capacity of 27,000 MW/108,000 MWh (4-hour storage) is projected to be part of the installed capacity in 2029-30. This will be in addition to 10,151 MW of Pumped Hydro Storage System envisaged to be a component of the installed capacity in 2029-30. “BESS systems make their case with the shorter lead times they take to both be set up, and to respond to energy needs.

The minimum size of grid connected projects that can bid for this RFS are laid down as under:

(i) For Intra-State Projects: Minimum individual project size of power rating of 1 MW and above with suitable energy rating based on application at one site with minimum bid capacity of 1MW; and

(ii) For Inter-State Projects: Minimum individual project capacity of 50 MW and above with suitable energy rating based on application at one site with minimum bid capacity of 50 MW at the minimum voltage level as specified by the extant CERC regulations/Detailed Procedure.

Bidding parameters include procurement in terms of (i) Capacity, or (ii) Energy or a combination of both. A Capacity Procurement would entail that the Procurer pays for the availability of power and an Energy Procurement would entail that the Procurer pays for the dispatch/storage of energy. The bidding parameter, accordingly, would be:

a) Availability based fixed charge/ Annuity (INR per kW/MW) per year for Term of the Agreement, to be paid on a monthly basis and/or

b) Energy charge (INR per kWh/MWh) basis for Term of the Agreement payable on a monthly basis based on actual utilization and/or

c) A quantum of VGF support required by the bidder for a pre-specified fixed Tariff / Annuity available, or

d) A combination of the aforementioned options or any other parameter as specified in the RfS.

The minimum term of the Battery Storage Purchase Agreement (BSPA) is envisaged to be 8 years. In terms of commissioning timelines, for projects upto 250 MW, the bidders will have 15 months to set up storage capacity, while for those beyond 250 MW, the time allowed is 24 months.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International