The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has amended the National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy to remove the word ‘battery’ from the relevant clauses in order to broaden the definition of the term “storage” and facilitate the growth of the sector.
In its notification, the ministry said that it realizes that initially the word ‘storage’ was defined only in terms of battery storage, which restricted other forms of storage such as pumped hydro, compressed air, and flywheel.
According to the memorandum, the amended clause now says, “Storage may be added to the hybrid project (i) to reduce the variability of output power from wind solar hybrid plant; (ii) providing higher energy output for a given capacity at delivery point, by installing additional capacity of wind and solar power in a wind solar hybrid plant; and (iii) ensuring availability of firm power for a particular period.”
“Bidding factors for wind solar hybrid plants with storage may include minimum firm power output throughout the day or for defined hours during the day, extent of variability allowed in output power, unit price of electricity,” the notification added.
The new wind solar hybrid policy was announced in May 2018 to provide a framework for the expansion of grid-connected wind-solar photovoltaics hybrid systems in the country.
There has been a big push for hybrid projects in the country lately.
For instance, the Gujarat government has announced a new solar plus wind hybrid power policy in a bid to promote the simultaneous production of wind and solar power in the state.
Moreover, the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has given a grant to the IL&FS Energy Development Company Limited (IEDCL) for the development of a 41 MW hybrid wind, solar, and energy storage power project in Andhra Pradesh.
To keep pace with the changing dynamics of the energy markets, India is also working toward a National Energy Storage Mission (NESM). In February 2018, a committee with representatives from relevant ministries, industry associations, research institutions and experts, was constituted by the MNRE to propose a draft for setting up the NESM in India.