USAID launches BESS Pilot Projects in partnership with PGCIL
January, 2019: USAID’s GTG-RISE Initiative awarded the pilot project to KEC International Limited for conducting technical cum demonstration study at 1 MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) facility of Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) in Puducherry. Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) has designed, tendered and awarded two packages for installing BESS at a grid sub-station that it owns and operates in Puducherry. USAID’s GTG RISE initiative is building upon the Puducherry BESS pilot facility by collaborating with PGCIL to leverage its investments, and enhance the pilot’s coverage, and test different functionalities. Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is an important technology option for reliably integrating a large proportion of variable renewable energy (VRE) into large power grids. A number of countries are evaluating BESS as part of their Renewable Energy (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 RE integration in the grid), and by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Staff paper-electricity storage system in India, 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 GTG-RISE initiative, is on the value of BESS to support integration of RE. 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 Central Electricity Authority of India (CEA) and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to finalize standards for BESS grid interconnection which will feed into policies and regulations to support deployment of BESS. This pilot shall pave way for the country to set standards and develop possible reserve capacity targets for large-scale storage deployment at the grid level in the country. At present, India’s primary and secondary reserve capacity requirements of 7623 MW is met through 67 thermal power stations and battery storage along with other ancillary reserves presents a huge market potential to meet such requirement.