April 1, 2021: India’s first grid-connected community BESS was on March 27 switched on in Delhi, courtesy of Tata Power-DDL and Nexcharge,
The relatively small 150kW/528kWh container-based system has been provided to utility Tata Power-DDL by the Leclanché/Exide Industries joint venture Nexcharge, which was formed in 2018.
It will manage peak loads and voltage regulation and provide system flexibility and reliability at distribution level in Bani Ragh, which has a dense population and space constraints, which is why it was chosen. The system, known as CESS, also has a black start capability.
“The set-up will help in providing continuous and reliable power to key consumers during exigency,” the firms say. “The battery energy storage system will charge during the off-peak hours and discharge power during peak condition, which will enhance the life of the asset, prevent the interruption on account of overload and capex deferral in putting additional support for placing distribution transformers only to meet peak load.”
“This will further strengthen our network and ensure reliable and quality power supply to our consumers at all times,” said Tata Power-DDL CEO Ganesh Srinivasan. “Instead of building humungous infrastructure of transformers and electric equipment, CESS can be used to meet peak demand while storing surplus power. I believe wider adoption of such storage systems will help in balancing the load curve of distribution companies and make them future ready.”
Nexcharge CEO and CTO Stefan Louis said battery storage provided the agility that solar and wind integration with grids required.
“This should pave a new path for wider adoption of grid-scale energy storage technology across India,” he said.
Traditionally a lead-acid battery firm, Exide Industries embraced lithium-ion technology in June 2019, when it signed a JV with Leclanché to begin producing lithium batteries in India. At the time it said it was responding to Indian government policies.
“This ideally complements our leading position in the lead acid storage battery market in India and will allow us to take the lead in the lithium-ion battery industry, which is expected to grow significantly in the next few years,” he said at the time.
In its India Energy Outlook 2021, the International Energy Agency said India had the potential to add 140GW-200GW of battery capacity by 2040.
“Battery storage will likely play an important role in India achieving its renewable energy capacity target of 450GW by 2030. India already has 93GW of on-grid variable renewable energy and is targeting annual additions of 20GW-40GW,” said analyst Kashish Shah, from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.