The government of Madhya Pradesh recently approved a “Hybrid Renewable Energy and Energy Storage” policy in the state. The policy mandates development of three projects in the state.

This will include electricity generation from two or more renewable energy sources at a project site in the Hybrid Power Project (HPP), which may also include energy storage. The Energy Storage Project (ESP), includes projects developed with various storage techniques like mechanical, chemical (battery), compressed air, hydrogen, pumped hydro storage etc. with or without energy sources and expansion of existing renewable energy project under above the mentioned categories.

An official release stated that “Madhya Pradesh Hybrid Renewable Energy and Energy Storage Policy”, co-located or stand-alone energy storage plants can be set up in existing renewable energy project sites so that renewable energy sources can be properly utilized and efforts can be made towards grid stability.

So, why does small state of India is going for something that is rarely heard in India. The reason is simple conventional resources are not going to last long. In a world that is constantly anxious about sustainable environment and climate change renewable energy and storage power is the sliver of hope.

The need for progressive policy to promote hybridization of various renewable energy sources and various types of energy storage was proposed to utilise the available infrastructure and renewable energy sources.

MP Power Management Company, the Madhya Pradesh government’s holding firm for three power distribution companies (discoms) in the state, has invited expressions of interest from private firms for setting up 500 MW with 8 hours of continuous discharge of grid-scale energy storage service and a storage manufacturing facility in the state.

In its tender document, the MP Power Management Company said

grid-scale energy storage is expected to play a pivotal role in providing ancillary services, balancing real-time demand and supply, integrating renewable energy and improving stability of electricity grids.

The document goes on to add that its energy storage options could be in the form of chemical batteries (lithium ion, advanced lead acid, sodium sulphur, flow batteries), pumped storage hydro, compressed air energy storage, flywheels or other forms of storage.

Hybrid renewable and storage energy is the solution to variance in availability of wind, solar and other sources of renewable energy. Elon Musk, is the pioneer of energy storage who introduced Tesla home storage.

NITI Aayog in 2017 in state action plans (SAP) revealed that states in India are facing issues not only with installing the necessary RE capacities as targeted, but also with integration of the naturally variable RE capacities into the grid.

Madhya Pradesh has an overall renewable potential of 74.33 GW, as estimated by MNRE. It is already one of the leaders in renewable installed capacities, with about 17% of its 19 GW installed power generation capacity comprising of renewables

Madhya Pradesh has been apportioned 6.8% (11,979 MW) of the 2022 national RE target. Of this, the share of solar is 47% (5,636 MW). Of the non-solar share of 53%, wind has been allocated 6,200 MW, small hydro 25 MW and biomass 118 MW. Yet, this is only a fraction of RE resources available in Madhya Pradesh.

While the Madhya Pradesh is envisioning meeting its 2022 RE obligations, it faces several challenges.

These include:

  1. Significant capacity addition plans of conventional power (about 3,000 MW) in the next five years. With limited demand growth, this will introduce a huge surplus in the state
  2. The slow progress of Green Energy Corridor (including REMC establishment)
  3. Central banking regulation framework strengthening (inter-state) Excessively high solar rooftop target allocated to the state
  4. Huge balancing requirements for future, considering significant RE additions

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