Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) Pilot– Transmission

bess

Powering India’s transition to renewable energy: Battery energy storage system (BESS) pilot

India’s transforming energy landscape, with its emphasis on renewable energy (RE), holds manifold promises for the country’s enhanced energy security, reduced oil imports, and improved air quality. However, large-scale integration of variable RE also brings with it the significant challenge of ensuring that the power grid remain reliable and resilient even when absorbing varying and unpredictable energy from renewable sources such as sun and wind. Energy demand-supply mismatches must be addressed in real time to ensure grid reliability. Battery energy storage system (BESS) — a technology for storing electric charges in specially developed batteries to enable the stored energy’s utilization at a later time — is globally recognized as a powerful tool to manage the challenges associated with demand changes more efficiently. BESS allows energy to be stored when generation exceeds demand and to be released (or dispatched) when generation comes down and/or demand goes up. By increasing the system’s overall flexibility, BESS can improve power quality and enhance the capacity of transmission grids, thereby ensuring uninterrupted power supply to distribution utilities. Put simply, energy storage can ensure power without interruptions.

BESS has gained significant popularity in western countries and holds promise for India’s transitioning grid system. However, the technology’s high capital cost and India’s limited experience with it make investment decisions tough for both utilities and regulators. Integration of BESS technologies on a large scale warrants a robust understanding and testing of its commercial viability and technical feasibility.

Building evidence on BESS deployment in transmission utilities

To build evidence on the potential for BESS in India, USAID’s Greening the Grid-Renewable Integration and Sustainable Energy (GTG-RISE) initiative conducted a four-year (2017–2020) pilot on the techno-economic feasibility of BESS in providing ancillary services (frequency reserves). Designed and implemented in close coordination with Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID), the pilot aimed to expand the understanding of the multiple benefits BESS can provide to grid operators and other stakeholders to fast-track large scale RE integration. Its specific objectives were to: demonstrate various possible use cases for BESS through enhanced IT-based controls, ascertain the feasibility of BESS in the grid, and assess the economic value of storage.

To meet its RPO targets, BRPL has done a tie-up for 1,199 MW of RE plants at a competitive tariff, to be commissioned by 2021¬–22. The increase in RE procurement would enhance the variability and intermittency of power supply for BRPL. The DISCOM aims to meet the variability with more accurate forecasting techniques and leaning on fast ramping resources. However, the current absence of such measures can put grid stability at risk, leading to reserves procurement by the system operator at a much larger scale, thereby increasing system costs.

GTG-RISE conducted the pilot at POWERGRID’s BESS facility at the 400/220 kV sub-station in Puducherry. The facility has two different battery technologies (lead-acid based and lithium-ion based) with a total installed capacity of 1 MW. The pilot entailed enhancing the existing IT-based controls at this BESS facility. In the original architecture, each of the two battery technologies had an independent power management system and separate supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system. To ensure synchronized performance of the two battery technologies, the pilot designed a new architecture, introduced a common controller unit and modified the existing SCADA system to enable a common monitoring and operating platform for both battery technologies.

GTG-RISE also designed, developed, and tested six different BESS applications along with an integrated application mode. To demonstrate the BESS applications and their interaction with external parameters, meters were installed at a roof-top solar photo voltaic (PV) and 22 kV load site. Data exchange between these meters and the new control units was enabled over General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) through a cloud server.

A virtual event on December 21, 2020, marked the go-live launch of the BESS pilot at the Puducherry site. The closed-door virtual event, conducted jointly by USAID and POWERGRID, was attended by senior representatives from the Ministry of Power, Government of India; Power System Operation Corporation Limited (POSOCO); POWERGRID; USAID/India, and the GTG-RISE team.

Subsequent to the go-live event, the new system architecture and control logics for new BESS use cases/applications was subjected to rigorous testing over several months. After testing and system acceptance, a trial run of the BESS applications was carried out at the pilot site under actual grid conditions. During the trial run, all the BESS applications were tested for a sustained period, while critical system parameters were monitored and recorded along with battery performance.

Paving the way for a more secure grid

GTG-RISE’s BESS pilot successfully designed and demonstrated control logics for different BESS applications. The pilot installed the required hardware/software retrofits to enable real-time monitoring of grid parameters and specified controlled operation of BESS across the two battery technologies at POWERGRID’s facility in Puducherry.

The various BESS use cases and applications can be harnessed by grid operators, as needed to meet grid requirements. Control logics developed for the BESS applications, such as ‘dynamic frequency’ and ‘voltage support,’ will allow BESS developers to provide ancillary services. Similarly, the ‘load following’ and ‘peak load shaving’ applications can prove useful for distribution system operators by helping them to manage their load effectively, avoiding deviation settlement mechanism (DSM) penalties, and deferring capital expenditure for network elements experiencing short-term overloading. The other two applications — ‘RE time shift’ and ‘RE energy capacity firming’— can be used by RE developers deploying grid-scale solar/wind plants in RE rich states to improve their power scheduling to the grid as well as to take advantage of energy arbitrage opportunities. These control logics are detailed in the technical report on GTG website.

The BESS pilot’s outcomes have provided valuable insights for the policy and regulatory frameworks being developed in India to provide ancillary services or address network constraints. The pilot outcomes show what services BESS can provide and should help incentivize private sector engagement.

“The rate of growth of renewable energy in India is one of the highest in the world. With increased RE penetration, we need to ensure a reliable, flexible, and adaptive grid. The BESS pilot at our Puducherry facility is a first-of-its-kind initiative and will make a big contribution to our transitioning energy sector.”

— Dr. Subir Sen, Chief Operating Officer – CTU and Smart Grid, POWERGRID

“India’s power systems are going for more efficient and better controls and processes to ensure the consumer is served economically. By 2025, we may require battery energy storage, and the USAID’s BESS pilot outcomes will add value to our understanding and appreciation for storage systems’ integration to the grid.”

– K.V.S. Baba, Chairman and Managing Director, POSOCO

“I strongly believe that collaborative efforts by respective agencies will help the power sector grow progressively towards a transition, wherein the grid is more flexible, reliable, and efficient to foster and enhance renewable energy integration. We are proud to partner with USAID on this initiative and on our journey to a “high-performing, low-emission, energy-secure economy.”

– Mritunjay Kumar Narayan, Joint Secretary (Transmission), Ministry of Power

Scaling up BESS deployment

Suitably deployed, BESS gives system operators a flexible, rapid-response resource to effectively manage generation and load variability. The BESS pilot’s learning and use cases can serve as a guiding tool to enhance BESS deployment by system operators and RE generators in India. For system operators in ancillary services operations, BESS can provide services such as frequency regulations, voltage support, and black start. It should be noted that transacting these services will require a mature ancillary market, with appropriate mechanisms to reward ancillary services providers.

India’s Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) recently notified the draft Ancillary Service Regulation 2021 to provide a mechanism for deployment and procurement of ancillary services in India. The draft regulation details the mechanism and estimation process for reserves, eligibility, deployment, procurement, selection, dispatch, and payment for secondary reserve ancillary services (SRAS) and tertiary reserve ancillary services (TRAS). Once implemented, the draft ancillary regulation will drive the deployment of large grid-scale energy storage facilities for commercial operations.

While implementation of the Ancillary Service Regulation will certainly create market-side demand for BESS, the GTG-RISE BESS pilot will pave the way for multiple applications and use cases that will bring down the overall cost for BESS in India, to make its use more economical. Outcomes from the pilot will also help drive clear policy decisions and regulations to scale-up BESS so that India can harness its full potential. Key pilot learnings have been captured in a detailed technical guidance note on the development of control logics for various BESS applications, retrofit requirements (both hardware and software), and system architecture design. The guidance note will help any entity interested in deploying grid-connected BESS to assess the investment required.

  • To download the pilot success story, please click here.

Events & Activities

To share knowledge with and train stakeholders, various workshops, bootcamps and executive exchange programs have been organized, under the USAID’s GTG program, on BESS so far.

WHAT IS BESS AND WHY IS IT NEEDED

India’s transforming energy landscape, with its increased emphasis on renewable energy (RE), promises enhanced energy security, reduced oil imports, and improved air quality. However, large-scale integration of variable RE also brings with it the significant challenge of ensuring that the power grid remains reliable with the addition of renewable energy, such as that generated by the sun and wind. The power system’s operation needs to be flexible, with rapid response capabilities to address imbalances between energy supply and demand that can ensure resiliency in real-time grid operation. The imbalance between energy demand and supply can be mitigated through various ancillary reserves, such as pumped hydro storage, spinning/nonspinning reserves, and battery storage.

Battery energy storage system (BESS) — a technology for storing electric charge on specially developed batteries to enable the stored energy’s use at a later time — is a globally-accepted solution to minimize the need for flexible generation and operating reserves. BESS allows energy to be stored when generation exceeds demand and to be released (or dispatched) when generation comes down and/or demand goes up. Owing to its fast response capabilities, BESS can provide system operators with such grid services as frequency response, regulation reserves, and ramp rate control. BESS can also help defer investments in peak generation and grid reinforcements.

Clearly, BESS can play a major role in facilitating the power sector’s transition by enabling greater RE integration. To do so, policy, regulations, and operational mechanisms need to be in place; these remain nascent in many countries, including India. As India marches to meet its target of 450 GW by 2030, the need to test BESS and evaluate its technical and economic feasibility assumes great significance. To advance BESS in India, USAID’s GTG-RISE initiative conducted a pilot to demonstrate its potential use in and value for transmission utilities.

Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) pilot under the GTG-RISE initiative shall pave way for the central regulator to outline possible reserve capacity targets and unlock huge market investments for large-scale storage deployment at the national level for grid applications.

This pilot will test the technical and economic effectiveness of grid-connected BESS in providing dynamic frequency regulation and other ancillary services; capacity firming and energy time shift of VRE generators, peak shaving and load following; and dynamic reactive compensation and voltage support. The pilot shall also be crucial in providing inputs to CERC, CEA and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to finalize standards for BESS grid interconnection. The pilot will bring out specific recommendations for operation of battery energy storage system and required enhancements based on Indian grid conditions. Pilot will also address the optimization usability of BESS and economic evaluation of BESS operation in grid support.

Stage 1: Conceptualization & Pilot Implementation

  • Technical due diligence and detailed feasibility assessment of BESS
  • Selection of Implementing Agencies
  • Pilot Implementation & Demonstration of BESS use cases

Stage 2: Techno Economic Assessment & Modeling Framework

  • Techno Economic Assessment & Modeling Framework.
  • Design, Modeling and implementation of economic evaluation
  • Assessment of the Value of BESS in Frequency Regulation Ancillary Services

Stage 3: Regulatory and Market Framework

  • Assistance in framing Regulatory Mechanisms to introduce grid connected BESS for Ancillary Services
  • Recommendation on regulation, policy and market framework

To build evidence on the potential for BESS in India, USAID’s Greening the Grid-Renewable Integration and Sustainable Energy (GTG-RISE) initiative conducted a four-year (2017–2020) pilot on the techno-economic feasibility of BESS in providing ancillary services (frequency reserves). Designed and implemented in close coordination with Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID), the pilot aimed to expand the understanding of the multiple benefits BESS can provide to grid operators and other stakeholders to fast-track large scale RE integration. Its specific objectives were to: demonstrate various possible use cases for BESS through enhanced IT-based controls, ascertain the feasibility of BESS in the grid, and assess the economic value of storage. The case study provides more in depth details of the GTG-RISE Pilot overview, interventions, impacts, successes and scalability roadmap for the BESS in India. For more information please download the case study click here

The central component of GTG, RISE initiative, aims to design, implement and scale-up series of prioritized innovation pilots that support the integration of RE into the grid. Each pilot has its own implementation roadmap, stakeholder commitments, coordination and collaborations and periodic reviews by appropriate Government and regulatory counterparts. Towards this, a ‘Pilot Review Board’ (PRB) has been established for each pilot with an aim to promote transparency, ownership and accountability with the key GOI counterpart and other key stakeholders. PRB envisages to guide to address challenges, support stakeholder participation, help promote pilot awareness and lessons learned, and contribute to the sustainability of the individual pilots. PRBs is also there to review the ongoing performance of pilot activities and to recommend corrective action to maximize sustainability and minimize risk if any. Likewise PRBs will also review the challenges met or overcome in the scaling of pilot activities and make recommendations to support scaling.

Each innovative pilot requires different skill sets of technical expertise and respectively necessitates separate PRB for the pilot. The nominated PRB members represent policy makers, state and central regulatory bodies, grid operators, relevant utilities and even representatives from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)/Associations. Supported by GTG-RISE team, USAID’s Contracting Officer Representative (COR) for GTG-RISE initiative is the convener of the PRB. The PRB Members details for pilot on flexible operation of coal power plants are provided below:

Member Name Member Designation Member Organization
Kavita Parihar Dy. General Manager POSOCO
Mohit Joshi Manager POSOCO
Manish Kumar Tiwari General Manager PGCIL
Ravindra Kadam Advisor-RE CERC
Tushar Teredesai Lead – Smart Grids KEC/RPG Smart Infra
Aman Chhabra Sr. Manager- Business Development KEC/RPG Smart Infra
Monali Zeya Hazra Contracting Officer Representation (COR) USAID/India GTG-RISE
Shubhranshu Patnaik Chief of Party (COP) USAID GTG-RISE Initiative