Storage is meant to bring stability to an infirm life. However, it is bound to make infirm RE more exciting and more solar, considering that it has both the distributed and large (as other RE) versions. The impact on residential solar and open access projects would be the most exciting.
Distributed solar on unreliable grids or off grids will both flourish with storage prices coming down. On-grid versions will include residential solar and small commercial sectors, for example- telecom towers, petrol pumps, toll plazas, highway restaurants and off-grids versions will include border posts, islands, micro-grids, resorts. The last mile infra in Indian grid will continue to have reliability issues, especially in Tier 3 towns and this is where energy storage, sold as part of solar kits, will grow as DIY systems or through local distributors.
Large solar will include Discom sale and private sale projects. Sale – to – Discom projects will benefit from a reliable grid that will be supported by energy storage, either as frequency regulation support or if the grid operator decides to add energy for storage and hence absorb energy and consequently expand the lionization of grid infrastructure.
The impact on open access projects, in comparison, will be very different. Open access projects bank on “banking”. Banking regulations allow these projects to store their generation into the grid bank, from which their customer can withdraw energy as and when required. The bank’s passbook is the customer’s monthly electricity bill which reflects the deposit and withdrawal from the grid bank.
Unfortunately, the grid owner (Transco) is a not-so-distant-cousin of the Discom and Discoms are not really fond of open access projects for the simple reason that these projects take away their creditworthy commercial & industrial consumers. And therefore, the banking regulations may change or even vanish And because open access projects have been or will be setup under policies that provide 10 to 15year certainty on banking, they would be left with 10 to 15year project life but no banking facility. It is at this point, that energy storage will move in and create a new business model, where on-call and dispatchable power will be available for sale.
As should be obvious from the above, energy storage is a toll of free markets, bringing power to consumer, away from regulations. Amplus Solar is the first solar energy firm in India to offer full-fledged solar energy solution combined with Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) to a commercial establishment. Following are the 2 projects that have been successfully commissioned:
A. Siwaya Toll Plaza- Amplus’ first BESS( Battery Energy Storage System) – Solar Hybrid System with 96 Kwh battery and 83 Kw solar has been running successfully. Also we have the remote battery system up and running giving system updates. This is one of the first plant of its kind in India with the extensive logic in the EMS ( Energy Management System) controlling all the sources.
B. Solar+ Storage Project – Off grid Application. Amplus has successfully commissioned a solar hybrid system with 96 kwh battery and 15 Kw solar PV located at the Forest Department of Gadchiroli, Nagpur to cater to their office power requirements. This Solar + Battery system has helped them get uninterrupted, reliable and a very good quality of power at nearly constant frequency, voltage levels.