SECI Exploring Firm & Flexible RE Mechanism

Solar and wind hybrid power plants with energy storage can deliver a PLF of over 60% when higher generation capacity is added before-the-meter, says SECI and claims it seems to be an even better solution than hybridizing renewables with gas power plants. (Photo Credit: SECI)
SECI Exploring Firm & Flexible RE Mechanism
  • SECI has called for a meeting of renewable energy industry stakeholders to discuss how to prepare the national grid to absorb growing share of renewables
  • It wants to achieve flexibility, firmness and high PLF for renewable energy projects
  • Solar, wind and storage hybrid projects seem to be the most ideal solution to get the grid to incorporate the 3 factors as of now which the agency will discuss during the meeting
  • The meeting will also discuss incorporating these elements in the broad contours of bidding methodology

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) will be hosting a meeting to consult with interested stakeholders in the renewable energy world to explore the possible options to achieve flexibility, firmness and high plant load factors (PLF) in renewable energy projects. These 3 factors are important to prepare the grid for large amounts of flexible renewables, feels SECI, as India targets 175 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2022, and eventually 450 GW.

Through this meeting the agency wants to also 'finalize the broad contours of a bidding methodology' accounting for this 'trinity'.

While conventional power plants score over renewables in terms of PLF, among renewables SECI sees solar-wind hybrid projects reaching a PLF of 40% to 45%, which can exceed 60% when higher generation capacity is added before-the-meter and energy storage used. It is even better, as per SECI experience, than hybridizing renewables with gas power plants.

Such solar wind hybrid projects with storage can also be designed to deliver 12 hours to 16 hours of firm energy.  Flexibility of around 20% to 30% of the output is needed, much to the satisfaction of discoms, reads the concept paper SECI has released for stakeholders on the subject.

"Development of such projects will improve not only better adaptability to the grid but also the economic IRR of the projects and will enable achieving RE targets of 450 GW of the country," states SECI.

SECI will be holding the meeting online on June 22, 2020 and is accepting registration through email. It is also inviting interested participants—including discoms, independent power producers (IPP), developers, organizations, and other govermment agencies working with renewables and storage technologies­—to present their views through presentations.

Recently, credit ratings agency CRISIL said it sees the wind solar hybrid (WSH) segment in India to grow from 100 MW currently to 15 GW over the next 5 years.

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