Enhancing capabilities of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) in providing grid-level services

Enhancing capabilities of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) in providing grid-level services

India is gradually progressing toward its goal of integrating 175 GW of renewable energy (RE) capacities by the year 2022. Alongside, it is addressing challenges pertaining to existing grid interactive services, ancillary reserves, power balancing, and transmission congestion. Increased integration of variable and unpredictable RE requires that system operations be more flexible, with rapid response capabilities to balance the demand and supply of energy and enhance the grid’s resilience for real-time grid operation. Energy demand and supply imbalance can be mitigated through various ancillary reserves, including energy storage such as pumped hydro, spinning/non-spinning reserves, battery storage, etc.

USAID’s Greening the Grid-Renewable Integration and Sustainable Energy (GTG-RISE) initiative has been supporting India’s efforts to proactively address the challenges from large-scale RE integration. GTG-RISE is the central component of USAID’s Greening the Grid (GTG), a five-year bilateral program between USAID and the Ministry of Power, Government of India and a key Asia EDGE (Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy) initiative. GTG -RISE is implemented by Deloitte Consulting LLP.

One of the pilots implemented under GTG-RISE aimed to support the deployment of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) in transmission utilities by demonstrating an array of BESS applications, their value and possible usage in the Indian grid. GTG-RISE implemented the pilot in partnership with the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID); the pilot entailed enhancement of existing IT-based controls at POWERGRID’s BESS facility at Puduchchery, which has two different battery technologies deployed with a total installed capacity of 1 MW. A successful go-live event in December 21, 2020, witnessed the BESS applications developed under the pilot being tested and run for a sustained period of time under actual grid conditions. GTG-RISE also undertook a study on “Economic valuation of BESS for Southern India” to understand the typical quantum of reserve capacity required for primary and secondary frequency reserve support in the Southern region.

As a follow-up to the initiative, GTG-RISE conducted two webinars, on April 20 and 22, 2021, to share results from the pilot’s test runs and the economic evaluation study and help key stakeholders assess the capability of BESS in providing various grid-level services. In his address at the webinar, Dr. Subir Sen, Chief Operating Officer (COO) at POWERGID stated: “There is need for a reliable, flexible, and adaptive grid… and battery energy storage is a critical element to address it. The joint effort of USAID and POWERGRID on the BESS pilot, under the guidance of Ministry of Power, conducted test runs at POWERGRID’s Puducherry BESS facility under real grid conditions… This will prove to be a milestone for India’s transforming energy sector.”

Highlighting the importance of the GTG-RISE pilot from the national system operator perspective, KVS Baba, Chairman & Managing Director (CMD), Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO), said: “Whatever we may do at the grid level, our ultimate aim is to provide the consumer access to good quality energy… Battery storage is crucial to ensure that. In view of this, today’s knowledge dissemination workshop is important to equip stakeholders with the right information on BESS to be able to replicate and scale it. My special thanks to USAID and the GTG-RISE team, who has been working relentlessly to make this happen.”

The pilot is a much-lauded initiative to build the evidence base for policy and regulatory frameworks, strengthening capacities, and incentivizing private sector engagement to help absorb energy storage more economically into the power system in the near future. Underscoring the effort of the India-U.S strategic energy partnership to bolster the power sector in the country, Julia Kennedy, IPO Director (A), USAID India, stated: “The United States and India are committed to creatively collaborate on a 2030 agenda for clean and green technologies in the service of the planet. The BESS pilot undertaken as part of GTG-RISE is of great significance to strengthen energy security and expand access to sustainable and clean energy across South Asia.”

The webinars on BESS saw enthusiastic participation by 415 participants from 36 countries. The virtual event provided a platform to share lessons and promote an evidence-based understanding of the imperatives for BESS deployment in India. GTG-RISE has been conducting such webinars regularly to build knowledge and support dialogue and advocacy on innovative energy system initiatives and approaches.

Knowledge dissemination workshop on ‘Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) Applications in Transmission System’

Knowledge dissemination workshop on ‘Economic Valuation of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) for Southern India’

To download the synopsis of the ‘Economic Valuation of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) for Southern India’ study report – Please click here.