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BYD & SkyPower Partner To Bid On Solar + Storage Developments In India

Originally published on CleanTechies.

Global project developers are vying for a landmark solar power tender planned in India that will also include, for the first time, energy storage solutions as well.

Chinese battery maker BYD and Canada-based project developer SkyPower Global have entered an agreement to bid for solar power projects in India. While the two companies have not categorically stated which tender they will be jointly bidding for, media reports suggest that it could be the 750 MW tender for the 1.5 GW Ananthapuram solar park in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India, earlier this year, announced that a 750 MW tender for the Ananthapuram solar power would be launched. The tender will also include the installation of 100 MW of energy storage capacity.

The first phase of the solar park consists of 250 MW of capacity. Of this, 200 MW was commissioned a few weeks back, while the balance of 50 MW is expected to be commissioned by October 2016. An additional capacity of 500 MW for the project has also been earmarked at a different location.

This will be the first large-scale implementation of battery-based energy storage technology in India. This experiment will be extremely critical for the broad-based adoption of renewable energy in India. The country aims to have 175 GW of operational renewable energy capacity by March 2022.

Existing transmission infrastructure in India is nowhere close to being capable of handling such a massive capacity of an intermittent power source. Thus, the success of battery-based energy storage will be crucial. Another problem with the Indian solar power program is that it had given up on solar thermal power projects, where energy storage is a tried and tested concept. The program is overwhelmingly dependent on solar photovoltaic projects.

Reprinted with permission.

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