New Delhi: State property Powerful transmission utility Powergrid Corporation from India (PGCIL), seeks to focus more on the establishment of energy storage projects and identifies investment opportunities in this area.
The idea is to benefit from the wider national ambition to integrate renewable energies into the grid. India is targeting 500 GW of fossil-free power capacity by 2030. This will require 27 GW or 108 GWHr of battery storage capacity, which is expected to be part of the installed capacity in 2029-30.
“Electrical network is naturally willing to invest in this area as we also have grid connectivity and land availability. We also have experience in asset management. So we entered this segment,” Powergrid COO RK Tyagi said during a speech at ETEnergyworld. Conclave on smart electricity.
The company has already set up an energy storage pilot project in Pondicherry where a 500 kilowatt battery energy storage system has been installed, using two technologies – Lithium Iron Phosphate and Lead Acid. PGCIL also took over a 500 KW energy storage project being set up in Gurugram as part of the government’s Smart City initiative.
A third, smaller-scale energy storage project – 5 MW or 20 MWHr – is being set up in Nagda in Madhya Pradesh with an 85 MW capacity solar power plant installed by Powergrid.
“Now we are also considering participating in various tenders launched by Gujarat and other states to invest in this area,” Tyagi said. He was speaking at a panel discussion on the role technology plays in driving growth in the electricity sector. Other participants included Anil Razdanformer Secretary of State; Ashish KhannaCEO, Tata Renewable EnergyIshwar Dubey, Chief Engineer, Adani Transmission and Bhadresh Mehta, Director, Odisha Power Transmission Corp.
Powergrid is India’s largest transmission company with a huge transmission asset base which comprises 172,000 Circuit Kilometers (ckm) of transmission systems, approximately 480,000 transmission capacities and 265 EHV substations.
Tyagi said the power transmission sector is moving towards a technology-driven and innovation-driven transformation given the integration of renewables, especially solar and wind, and Powergrid is keeping pace.
“This is especially true for the dynamic situation given the huge variation in power flow, dynamic compensation via statcoms for voltage excursions in the RE grid. We also installed HVDC with black start capability .
India plans to reach 830 GW of power generation capacity by 2030 from an installed capacity of 408 GW today. Experts say developing the corresponding transmission system on such a large scale over the next seven years will be a challenge.
In order to optimize the existing transmission network, PGCIL uses dynamic line evaluation devices and tries to make optimal use of transformers. Electricity production occurs mainly during the day for the RE network. This makes standstill availability a problem and transport companies have to operate in line conditions.
Tyagi said Powergrid is focused on adopting Industry 4.0 through the complete digitalization of its asset management functions. It develops robots for substation monitoring with the help of IIT-Kanpur, and develops augmented reality applications for remote maintenance assistance and virtual reality for training purposes.
“We have also undertaken a project on drone-based patrols and AI/ML-based image processing. We are also working on the development of the digital twin of the transmission line and transformers. This project will be ready in three years,” he said.
In order to reduce its carbon footprint, Powergrid is also working on installing fibre-based process bus technology and would help the company move away from conventional copper cables. The new technology has already been installed in two substations.