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NEW DELHI : India plans to set up around 14 gigawatt-hour (GWh) grid-scale battery storage system at the world’s largest renewable energy park at Khavda in Gujarat, Union power and new and renewable energy minister Raj Kumar Singh said at the Mint Energyscape conclave.

This is in addition to a plan to invite bids for the largest global tender for setting up a 13GWh grid-scale battery storage system in Ladakh, as reported by Mint earlier. The strategic push will make India’s grid-scale battery storage programme the largest in the world.

Large battery storages can help keep India’s power grids stable, given electricity is produced intermittently from clean energy sources such as solar and wind. 1GWh (1,000-MWh) of battery capacity is sufficient to power 1 million homes for an hour and around 30,000 electric cars.

“The highest installed storage capacity in the world is a measly 400 megawatt-hour (MWh)," Singh said at the conclave on Friday. “But the first major bid that I am coming out with is 1,000 megawatt-hour—two-and-a-half times the largest capacity in the world. But that also is not sufficient. Only for my national grid-level operations I will need 4,000 megawatt-hour."

The government also plans to call bids for setting up around 4GWh of the grid-scale battery storage system at the regional load dispatch centres. In addition, state-run NTPC Ltd has floated a global tender for setting up a 1GWh grid-scale battery storage system.

“I am going to do it big because 1,000 megawatt-hour is a starter. Ultimately, it will go up to 4,000 megawatt-hour. Then in Leh-Ladakh, I am setting up 10,000MW of renewable energy capacity, so I am adding about 13,000 megawatt-hour of storage there. And then in Khavda again, about 10,000-15,000MW of RE (renewable energy) capacity will come up, so I am going to add another about 13-14,000 megawatt-hour of storage there," Singh said.

According to the government, the Khavda renewable energy park in Kutch will be the world’s largest and will finally generate 30GW of clean energy.

Spread over 72,600 hectares, it will need 1.5 trillion investment. The foundation stone of the park was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last December.

Mint first reported India’s plan to set up solar and wind projects on fallow land along its border with Pakistan in the Kutch district of Gujarat and Bikaner, Barmer and Jaisalmer districts in Rajasthan.

India has already crossed 100GW of installed solar and wind capacity, with another 63GW under construction.

The plan is to have 175GW renewable energy capacity by 2022 and 450GW by 2030. This huge injection of electricity in the grid from sources such as solar and wind requires a storage mechanism that can help balance the national electricity grid.

According to the Central Electricity Authority, there will be a need for 27GW of grid-scale battery energy storage systems by 2030 with four hours of storage.

“So that’s the size I need to begin with. That’s for starters," Singh added.

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd has also announced plans to set up an advanced energy storage Giga factory. India recently unveiled its 18,100 crore production linked incentive scheme for developing a battery storage ecosystem that involves setting up 55-GWh manufacturing capacity for advanced chemistry cell batteries.

“How do you bring the cost of storage down? By adding volume. That’s how the price of solar came down, how the price of wind came down," Singh said.

The Ladakh plan involves setting up 10GW of large green energy capacity in the strategic region comprising solar and wind parks and using these large battery units to store that electricity to supply to the rest of the country.

Ladakh, Thar, Rann of Kutch, Lahaul and Spiti have the potential to generate 315.7GW of solar and wind power and will require investments of 43.7 trillion over the next 30 years to 2050, according to a study conducted by the state-owned Power Grid Corp. of India Ltd.

“We have resources available with us. We have plentiful sun. We have plentiful wind. We will need storage, and we will get there," Singh said.

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