Battery Energy Storage System (BESS)

Flex power


BESS Pilot aims to accelerate the deployment of Advanced Energy Systems and unlock huge market investments for large-scale storage deployment at the national level for grid application.

Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is an important technology option for reliably integrating a large proportion of VRE into large power grids. A number of countries are evaluating BESS as part of their RE strategies. In India, energy storage has been the subject of study by a technical committee and task force constituted by the Ministry of Power (Large Scale Integration of Renewable Energy), and by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Staff paper – “Introduction of Electricity Storage System in India”, in January 2017). These studies have recommended appropriate policy and regulations to promote the storage deployment by relevant stakeholders. One of the pilots implemented under USAID’s Greening the Grid (GTG)-RISE Initiative is on the value of BESS to support integration of RE. Since, BESS’ overall economic value is yet to be established, a pilot analyzing techno-economic benefits of multiple use cases, supported by GTG-RISE’s national and international experts, will help develop a scalable roadmap for adoption in India. Other outcomes would include interconnection standards for grid-connected BESS and estimation of the systemic value of storage in the Indian power system, which will feed into policies and regulations to support deployment of BESS.

Pilot Scope & Outcome

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

Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) has designed, tendered and awarded three packages for installing BESS at its grid sub-station in Puducherry. USAID’s GTG-RISE Initiative is building upon the Puducherry BESS pilot facility by collaborating with PGCIL to leverage its investments, enhance the pilot’s coverage, and test different functionalities. The overall objective is to develop business case for battery energy storage systems in India through economic valuation and to answer key questions in the context of India such as policy / regulatory / market mechanism required for BESS, value of storage system, locations and quantum of deployment, whether storage is cost effective etc.

Pilot Progress

GTG-RISE is supporting the central power transmission utility (PGCIL) in assessing the overall staked value of BESS for providing various services to the Grid and the local T&D network. The pilot includes a) Demonstration of technical feasibility of different use cases of Grid connected BESS with enhancement of existing BESS Pilot facility (HW and SW) at Puducherry (if any) and b) Techno-economic valuation of BESS for providing various ancillary services in Indian context.

PGCIL has already deployed two BESS installations in the Puducherry facility. GTG-RISE has entered into an MoU with PGCIL for carrying out various grid-level applications connected to the BESS. The detailed project report defines scope of the pilot, which requires actual scenario and field data to develop the algorithm for enhancing the capability of the BESS units at the PGCIL Puducherry site. As part of the pilot development, the GTG-RISE team examined the existing control logics and the enhancement needed at different level (hardware/software) for the proposed applications. The selection process for the grantees is completed and the pilot implementation has been commenced. The pilot is being implemented by KEC International under a grant agreement funded by USAID.

In the first phase, the pilot is focusing on enhancement of existing BESS Pilot facility at Puducherry and demonstration of technical feasibility of use cases. The initial phase of the pilot focuses on

  • Hardware/software and telemetry retrofits across the three battery technologies
  • Development, Implementation and demonstration of control logics for following distinct grid applications
    • Dynamic Frequency Regulation
    • Voltage/Reactive Power Support
    • Load Following
    • Peak Shaving
    • RE Capacity Firming
    • RE Time Shift
    • Integrated Applications (Combination of two or more of the above applications)

The pilot demonstration will draw results for the viability of BESS response in Indian context and the outcomes will be used for the technical economic evaluation of BESS.

In addition, GTG-RISE is also providing technical support, to one of the three power DISCOM (BRPL) in New Delhi, for deployment of BESS for managing the distribution network congestion and reduce peak power purchase requirements. NREL will provide Technical support to BRPL on assessment of BESS effectiveness at distribution level considering feeder load, line congestions, DT capacity / overloading, Right of Way (RoW) and network losses.

Next Steps

  • The technical design draft and use case design is under discussion with grantee and NR Electric, the original OEM of PGCIL. The use case demonstration is planned by April 2019, which will be supported by senior grid integration advisors.
  • The scope for economic value modelling of BESS at grid level in under development, which will be exercised with support from NREL during April – June 2019.
  • Provide regulatory evidence base for CERC to introduce grid connected BESS for ancillary services etc.
  • Provide insights to CERC, POSOCO and BIS to finalize standards for grid interconnection of BESS.
  • Develop Market Framework for BESS –Distribution
  • Support BRPL in obtaining regulatory approval

Once the demonstration of technical feasibility of use cases are completed, pilot will review of national/International practices on economic valuation of storage systems. The techno economic assessment would further include the following:

  • Framework for value modelling of BESS in providing frequency regulation in the Indian power grid
  • Scenario based analysis i.e. optimal sequencing of reserves in the presence of BESSs as ancillary services
  • Assessment of additional opportunities for BESS to earn stacked value over the modelled time-frames
  • Assess the additional impact of BESS capacity being used for inertial and primary frequency response and its cascade impact on secondary and tertiary reserve requirements.
  • Recommendation on policy and regulatory support for grid connected BESS in India


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.

Pilot Review Board (PRB)

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.

PRB Structure and Members

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