Last week's inauguration event: Delhi's Power Minister Satyender Jain (center) with Nexcharge executives. Image: Tata Power-DDL.
An energy storage system for lithium-ion batteries turned on in Rani Bagh, Delhi will serve multiple applications and could pave the way for the introduction of smarter, renewable energy grids across India.
The battery system is relatively small compared to some grid-scale systems used around the world, but it provides valuable services to the local power grid and community. It could also be dubbed India's first on-grid community energy storage system, according to the companies behind the project, which could prove the case of a broader roll-out of similar solutions across India.
The energy minister of Delhi, Satyender Jain, who took part in the inauguration of the battery storage system with 150 kWh / 528 kWh, said via Twitter that the technology of the “first battery storage system of its kind” will be of long-term benefit to the environment & us “with its crucial tasks, including support for “power supply during power discharge due to peak load” in the summer months of Delhi, June and July.
Local power distribution company Tata Power-DDL, a joint venture (JV) between engineering and power company Tata Power and the Delhi government (Tata has a 51% majority stake), serves around 7 million customers in the north of the state. The newly inaugurated project is located in one of Tata Power-DDL's substations in a densely populated area where electrical load growth is increasing rapidly, raising concerns about the stability and adequacy of the power supply.
The new battery system was installed as a cooperation project between the sales company (Discom) and the lithium-ion battery and storage system company Nexcharge, which is itself a joint venture founded by the battery companies Exide from India and the Swiss company Leclanche. While Exide is widely known in India for its lead-acid batteries, Leclanche is known in Europe and elsewhere for its work with lithium-ion batteries. The Nexcharge JV focuses on lithium-ion batteries of various types and their integration into transport and other sectors such as renewable energy.
“Battery-based energy storage (BESS) offers the opportunity to better integrate intermittent solar and wind energy resources into the Indian power grid and to guarantee consumers a high-quality power supply. Such a municipal energy storage system ensures that consumers experience better levels of stability, reliability, quality and control. Both customers and dealers will benefit from this service, ”said Stefan Louis, CEO and CTO of Nexcharge.
“We are very excited to partner with Tata Power DDL to implement this new 0.52 MWh on-grid system that will pave the way for wider adoption of grid-scale energy storage technology across India. This is another step for all Indians who have access to smart energy sources. “
The battery system is charged during off-peak hours and discharged into the grid during peak hours, adding to the grid's expensive distribution transformer equipment and delaying the need for the distribution company to add more infrastructure through “peak shaving”. By supporting reliability at the distribution system level to reduce the impact of peak load on distribution transformer equipment and manage the load, voltage regulation is also provided, power factor improved and frequency regulation services provided.
The municipal energy storage system can also support the local network in the event of power outages and device failures. It can provide a black start function for powering devices and thus help to get back online quickly and without external generators such as diesel engines. In addition, local service providers, including hospitals and commercial complexes, as well as hundreds of local electricity customers for private households are supplied with up to four hours of emergency power at 150 kW.
“This [project] will further strengthen our network and guarantee our consumers a reliable, high-quality power supply at all times. Instead of building a huge infrastructure of transformers and electrical appliances, community energy storage systems can be used to meet peak demand while storing excess electricity, ”said Ganesh Srinivasan, CEO of Tata Power-DDL.
“I believe that a broader introduction of such storage systems will help to balance the load curve of discoms and make them future-proof.”
India has ambitious renewable energy targets aiming to install 225 GW by 2022, and some experts have estimated that the grid could require a peak capacity of 46 GW by 2027. The India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) panel discussion late last year learned how energy is used Storage could solve reliability problems for network operators, such as a power outage that hit Mumbai in October. The country did not receive its first advanced grid-scale lithium-ion battery storage system until 2019, a 10 MW / 10 MWh system that is also used on Tata Power DDL's grids in Delhi. This project by AES and Mitsubishi with energy storage technology and integration service provider Fluence initiated the process of investigating the optimal use of energy storage systems for the distribution company's 2,000 MW power grid.
More recently, there have been major tenders for renewable energy-related energy storage capacity in various parts of the country, with the state-run Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) leading the government, however, it will believed that the newly inaugurated Nexcharge project is the first attempt to support the infrastructure at the distribution level while providing backup power functions to the local community.
Cutting the tape on the containerized lithium-ion battery storage system. Image: Minister Satyender Jain via Twitter.