Nexcharge the joint venture between two battery majors, India's Exide and Switzerland's Leclanche inaugurated India's first grid-connected community energy storage system (CESS) in Delhi on Friday, March 27.
The 150KW/528kWh CESS located at Tata Power, Rani Bagh Substation is expected to improve the supply reliability at the distribution level to mitigate peak load on Distribution Transformers.
"A Community Energy Storage System like this will ensure consumers get to experience better levels of stability, reliability, quality, and control. Both customers and distributors will benefit from this service," said Stefan Louis, CEO and CTO of Nexcharge.
"We are very happy to partner with Tata Power DDL to set up this new 0.52 MWh grid-connected system which will pave a new path for wider adoption of grid-scale energy storage technology across India. It’s another step towards all Indians accessing smart sources of energy,” he added.
The inauguration ceremony was held in presence of Satyendar Jain, Minister of Power, Govt. of NCT, Delhi along with senior executives of Nexcharge, Exide Industries Ltd, Leclanche, and Tata Power DDL.
Dense population with vertical load growth and space constraints to put additional transformers are the key reasons behind the selection of Rani Bagh as the location for the installation. The setup will help in providing continuous and reliable power to key consumers during exigency, Tata Power DDL said inits official statement.
First community storage project in India
“This project would be instrumental in changing the energy storage landscape of India," said Ketan Chitnis, VP, Stationary BU at Exide Leclanche Energy Pvt Ltd.
Mr. Chitnis underscored that this is a first-of-its-kind community storage project in India and offers a win-win situation for all the stakeholders involved.
The energy storage project has been linked with the Rohini substation which was due for an upgradation. And, it has been installed with the intention to serve community energy requirements. There is a deferral of CAPEX investment at least for the next five-six years for this substation. This is a positive development for DISCOMs as they don’t have to invest and yet get upfront recovery of CAPEX investment done, Mr. Chitnis noted.
Unlocking energy security at the local level
The key feature of CESS is to support the Distribution Transformers in managing the peak load, voltage regulation, power factor improvement, frequency regulation, and deviation settlement mechanism.
Another capability of the project is its ‘black start’ facility. A black start unit is a system that can start its own power and restore an electric power station or a part of an electric grid to operation without relying on the external electric power transmission network to recover from a total or partial shutdown.
Because of this during an outage of distribution transformers or during supply fail conditions, the battery is connected to the privileged bus and can provide 150KW for 4 hours duration to consumers providing critical services like hospitals, commercial complexes, Delhi Jal Board etc.
In terms of the benefits of the project, when replicated at a large level the project can also take care of the grid-level parameters and manage all the grid ancillary services on the main grid. In terms of networking, it can be synchronized with a single commanding center, so 100-200 such projects can be charged or discharged at a time.
Commenting on the launch, Mr. Ganesh Srinivasan, CEO, Tata Power-DDL said, "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 DISCOMs and make them future-ready.”
The project being fully automated, energy storage system automatically takes care of measuring whether it should charge or discharge the batteries.
The project is an outcome of a collaboration between TATA Power, Tata Power-DDL, Exide Industries Limited, Leclanché SA where Nexcharge served as an operational partner.