After two failed attempts to attract competitive rates for renewable energy storage projects, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has issued yet another document to gauge the interest of developers and stakeholders in such a project.
The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has called for expressions of interest (EoI) from companies for development of a 160 megawatt storage-equipped solar-wind hybrid power project in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Interested companies will have to share their past experience in execution of solar power projects, wind energy projects, and battery storage systems. The first two requirements would easily be fulfilled by numerous Indian developers, but not the third. The final requirement opens up a potential tender to international companies.
SECI, on its part, has made it clear that the intention to float this EoI is ‘only learn about the market scenario’ for implementation of a hybrid solar-wind project equipped with storage.
Last year SECI had launched two separate tenders calling for bids from interested developers to set up storage-equipped solar power projects in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. A 200 megawatt project was planned at the Pavagada solar park, Karnataka, while a 100 megawatt project was planned at the Kadapa solar power, Andhra Pradesh.
Eventually, both the tenders were cancelled as SECI realized that bids for the projects would be significantly higher than those with no storage systems and that it would be difficult to find long-term buyers for the power generated from these projects.
Late last year, NLC India — a power generation and coal mining company — awarded India’s first-ever utility-scale renewable energy storage power project. The 20 megawatt solar power project equipped with a storage capacity of 28 megawatt-hours was awarded to Mahindra Susten. The capital cost to set up the project is estimated at around $44 million, twice the cost of a project without a storage facility.
SECI will likely offer capital cost support in the form of cheap loans or grants to set up these projects as it has applied for a funding of $200 million from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and Clean Technology Fund (CTF).