In what could be a significant step towards integration of large-scale wind and solar energy projects in the existing power grid, General Electric will design a storage-equipped hybrid renewable energy project in India.
General Electric recently announced that it received an order from India-based IL&FS Energy Development Company Limited to examine the feasibility of hybrid renewable energy projects equipped with energy storage facility. The hybrid projects will include wind and solar power units.
IL&FS Energy Development Company Limited is looking to develop such projects in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. These projects are in-line with the Central Government’s initiative to have large-scale renewable energy parks that include wind and solar power units to optimise resource utilisation and reduce project cost.
The contract to GE is the result of IL&FS winning a grant from the US Trade and Development Agency for studying energy storage projects.
The Indian Government is planning to set up over 20 GW of ultra mega solar power parks. Integration of these power units into the existing grid is possibly the largest challenge the country faces. Energy storage will be critical for the success for this program. Already 21 such solar power parks have been approved by the government.
As part of the feasibility study, GE will design an integrated wind, solar, and energy storage plant, estimate its capital and operating costs, and develop a business plan that includes the viability gap funding that will be required for the commercialization of the project.
In addition to possible breakthroughs in the field of energy storage, the Indian government has already started work on a dedicated power transmission network for catering to the planned large-scale renewable energy projects.