NTPC gives first green hydrogen microgrid project to Simhadri plant

NTPC gives first green hydrogen microgrid project to Simhadri plant

State-run NTPC Ltd has awarded the country’s first green hydrogen microgrid project at its Simhadri plant in Andhra Pradesh. Green hydrogen is produced by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using an electrolyzer powered by renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. The fuel can be a game-changer for the energy security of India, which imports 85% of its oil and 53% of gas requirements. To promote clean fuels, India is considering making it mandatory for fertilizer plants and oil refineries to purchase green hydrogen.
“NTPC Ltd, India’s largest integrated energy company has awarded project of ‘Standalone Fuel-Cell based Micro-grid with hydrogen production using electrolyser’ at NTPC Simhadri (Andhra Pradesh). This will be India’s first Green Hydrogen based Energy Storage Project and one of world’s largest," NTPC said in a statement.
NTPC Renewable Energy Limited (NTPC REL) has also inked a pact with the Union territory of Ladakh for a green hydrogen mobility project, with the company along with NVVN jointly executing the project. India plans to soon call bids for building 4 gigawatt (GW) of electrolyzer capacity as part of its energy security strategy.
“It would be a precursor to large scale hydrogen energy storage projects and would be useful for studying and deploying multiple microgrids in various off-grid and strategic locations of the country," the statement added.
As part of its diversification strategy, NTPC is also looking to leverage hydrogen for transportation by mixing the fuel with natural gas for City Gas Distribution (CGD) network.
“This unique project configuration is designed in-house by NTPC. This unique project for India would open doors for decarbonising the far-off regions of the country like Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) etc., hitherto dependent on diesel generators. The project is in-line with the vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister for becoming carbon neutral by 2070 and making Ladakh a carbon-neutral territory," the statement said.
This comes in the backdrop of NTPC, India’s largest power generation firm’s pivot towards green energy. NTPC Group posted a net profit of $1.85 billion in FY21. It has also set an aim of 10% reduction in net energy intensity.
“The hydrogen would be produced using the advanced 240 kW Solid Oxide Electrolyser by taking input power from the nearby Floating Solar project. The hydrogen produced during sunshine hours would be stored at high pressure and would be electrified using a 50 kW Solid Oxide Fuel Cell. The system would work in a standalone mode from 5 PM to 7 AM," the statement said.
Indian firms, including Reliance Industries Ltd, Adani Group, Greenko and Acme Solar Holdings Ltd, have announced their green hydrogen plans. During the International Solar Alliance (ISA) assembly, a solar hydrogen programme was also launched to produce the emission-free fuel at $2 per kg, sharply lower than the present price of $5 per kg.
NTPC has an installed capacity of about 67.907 GW across 70 power projects, with 18 GW under construction. It has set an ambitious aim of 60 GW renewable energy capacity by 2032 from the existing 4.7 GW. NTPC has won 4.32 GW of renewable energy bids since the last financial year. It plans to invest ₹1 trillion between 2019 and 2024 to become a 130GW power producer by 2032.
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