SECI to ask Solar Bidders to Include a Storage Component

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The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) will be asking bidders in the upcoming 750 MW Andhra Pradesh solar tender to include a storage component. This is with the main aim of enabling easier transfer of solar power between states. However, industry has raised concerns regarding its cost implications.

Moreover, SECI has given its confirmation with respect to the  introduction of a pilot program in the next Andhra Pradesh solar tender which will  force bidders to include storage components in a portion of the auction.

Out of the 750 MW capacity tender, the SECI is requesting for 100 MW to be included in a certain type of storage capacity. This will help in opening up the market for several of the world’s leading battery technology providers like Tesla, Panasonic, Sonnen and Samsung.

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The main aim of the storage pilot program is to enable Indian states to transfer solar energy among each other. This will help in reducing the intermittency which is inherent in the solar installations. India is also adding large volumes of solar capacity which will lead to a rise in concerns relating to grid connection. The government is trying to prevent these issues by incorporating storage capacity in large proportions in advance.

The National Solar Mission (NSM) is gearing towards a goal of 175 GW of clean energy capacity by 2022. Out of this, 100 GW will be solar PV. As per the terms of SECI’s instructions, there needs to be a minimum of two storage projects which should be included in the Andhra Pradesh tender, each offering 15 minutes of storage. This will help in minimising costs.

It’s a known fact that large scale storage will offer the Indian solar market the much required security along with the economies of scale for serving the growing sector. The economies of scale will assist battery manufacturers in lowering costs. However, skeptics are concerned that a law advocating the inclusion of storage at this stage may serve in increasing PV development costs.

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