The Indian Energy Storage market is gearing up with a multitude of large scale pilot projects.India has long been seen as one of the largest market for lead acid batteries with annual sales of ~$6 Billion. In 2012, India Energy Storage Alliance was launched with a vision of making India not only a fast adoption market for advanced energy storage technologies but also a global hub for manufacturing. In past 3 years, government of India’s vision of integrating 160 GW of wind and solar by 2022, need for reducing use of diesel generators used for backup, government vision of 24*7 power for all and plan to roll out 6 million+ EVs by 2020 are fueling interest in advanced energy storage technologies. These applications are growing at a considerable rate year after year, with demand also stemming from less traditional applications such as peak load management, Transmission and Distribution deferral, ancillary services and desire of customers for power quality and reliability.

Rahul Walawalkar, CEM, CDSM, CSDP, IESA

Rahul Walawalkar, CEM, CDSM, CSDP, IESA

Grid scale storage project demonstrations started with Power Grid Corporation India Ltd. (PGCIL) issuing 3 tenders for Li-Ion, Advanced Lead Acid and Flow batteries for demonstration of grid balancing application in Pondicherry in 2016. Two of these projects for Li-Ion and advanced lead acid are already commissioned and started operating earlier this year. 3rd demonstration project for flow battery is also awarded and is expected to be commissioned by end of the year. Apart from this, distributed energy storage with advanced technologies such as li-ion is fast catching up in India. Accosting to IESA estimates, earlier this year, Indian Industry has crossed 1000 MWh of Li-Ion battery deployment for distributed applications such as telecom towers and bank ATMs. Also India has crossed deployment of over 1 Million EVs in the category of 2 wheeler and 3 wheelers. Indian government has also set a target of 24*7 electricity for all by 2019. This is generating strong interest for micro grids with anticipated roll out of over 10,000 microgrids by 2022. IESA has launched, MICRO, the Microgrid Initiative for Campus and Rural Opportunities to bring together key stakeholders and reduce the cost of energy from microgrids by 50% by 2019.

Now, both policy makers and industry stakeholders are taking active steps for energy storage integration projects in India. Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has already recommended larger scale demonstration projects considering need for enabling larger scale renewable integration as part of a report released last year. Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) also issued a staff paper on “Introduction of Electricity Storage System (ESS) in India” inviting comments from concerned stakeholders in January 2017. India Energy Storage Alliance organized 2 stakeholder consultations in partnership with FICCI and TERI in March. CERC officials are currently evaluating the recommendations and have proposed to issue final recommendations on energy storage related policy changes by end of June 2017. IESA is also leading efforts to create awareness about the storage potential and relevant policy changes at state level by conducting training programs for Forum of Regulators in partnership with India Smart Grid Forum. 1st such training was conducted in April in Hyderabad for policy makers and utility officials from Western and Southern regions. Next training in this series is scheduled in Kolkata in early June for Eastern region. IESA is also launching a 5 day training course for policy makers with Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad later this year.

India has already floated 46 MW + large scale energy storage projects last financial year (2016-17). Year 2017-18 has already seen introduction of 64 MWh of new RFPs and we expect 100 MW + projects to be announced for this year. The much-awaited 6 solar + energy storage project tenders by SECI (Solar Energy Corporation of India) were floated last year for Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh with total 30 MW storage with 300 MW solar. SECI has received over 30 bids for these projects and technical due diligence is already complete. SECI officials have informed industry participants that the financial bid will be opened with in next month. In 2017, Central Electronics Ltd. (CEL) floated and completed the tendering process for a 1 MW energy storage project for solar power. Recently, BHEL also completed the call for EOI (Expression of Interest) for Li-Ion technologies for a few pilot projects. The Government is planning to float a tender to set up Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) power plants with energy storage at two sites in Andaman and Nicobar Islands to replace 47 MW of diesel-run generation capacity. These two power plants will account for 52 MWh of energy storage capacity for applications including diesel minimization, solar energy smoothing and solar energy shifting to meet off peak loads. In April 2017, Indian home minister Shri Rajnath Singh laid the foundation stone for 25MW of PV projects in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. These include a 17MW plant at Manglutan, near Guptapara Village and 8MW at Chidiyatapu in South Andaman District. The solar projects were the first to be tendered by NTPC to be combined with energy storage, even though the energy storage part is tendered separately. Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments Ltd. (REIL) and Indian Oil Corporation is also assigned to undertake Pilot projects on solar integrated energy storage project by MNRE, Govt. of India.

Apart from government bodies, this year we expect a few large scale projects from Utilities, Industries and Commercial establishments (Malls, Hotels, Hospitals, IT Offices, and resorts etc.) for energy storage projects for captive consumptions. AES Energy Storage, a global leader in deployment of advanced energy storage and key member of IESA has announced a 10 MW- 10 MWh project in partnership with Mitsubishi Corp for Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd. (TPDDL) in Delhi. As a leading alliance in the energy storage sector, IESA has been receiving queries from various Industries to set up solar plus battery plants from KW to MW capacities.

IESA’s vision is to make India a global leader in energy storage and microgrid technology adoption and a global hub for manufacturing of these emerging technologies by 2020. Currently IESA member companies have made investments to start over 500 MWh of annual module manufacturing capacity for Li-Ion batteries. Earlier this year, Ecoult, a leader in advanced lead acid battery technology announced partnership with Exide to set up manufacturing of UltraBattery (a hybrid lead acid – ultra capacitor technology) in India. Suzuki,Toshiba and Denso has announced investing over $300 M to set up India’s 1st li-ion cell manufacturing facility. We are anticipating at least 2 more such announcements to set up such Giga Factories for li-ion batteries in India in next 12 months.

For more information about developments in energy storage and microgrids, visit IESA at

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