India’s first utility-scale, standalone storage project gets regulatory nod


From pv magazine India

The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has granted regulatory approval to India’s first commercial standalone battery energy storage system (BESS) project. The project is being developed by BSES Rajdhani Power (BRPL) in partnership with IndiGrid and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet’s (GEAPP). It is supported by GEAPP’s concessional loan, covering 70% of the total project cost.

The approved project, a 20 MW/40 MWh BESS, will be strategically installed at BRPL’s 33/11 kV Kilokari substation and is on track to achieve commissioning within a record time of 18 to 20 months – purportedly the fastest for a BESS project.

The project, located at a high demand sub-station, will improve power quality and enable 24/7 reliable power in the area for more than 12,000 low-income consumers.

In collaboration with its alliance partners, GEAPP is targeting 1 GW of BESS commitments in India by 2026, in line with India’s ambitious goal of deploying 47 GW of BESS by 2032.

“The regulatory approval of the BRPL BESS project marks a significant milestone in our efforts to integrate renewable energy sources into the grid and enhance reliability for our consumers,” said a BSES spokesperson.

India’s urgent need for BESS integration in the distribution grid is underscored by the country’s substantial variable renewable energy (VRE) penetration, which exceeds 12% in some regions.

The BRPL BESS project is the first commercial standalone BESS project at the distribution level in India to obtain regulatory approval for a capacity tariff. It will play a pivotal role in facilitating the uptake of low-cost VRE by the New Delhi Utility (BRPL).

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The project sets a new standard for BESS affordability in India with a levelized annual tariff that is nearly 55% lower than the previous benchmark.

“The BRPL BESS project boasts a comprehensive Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) plan aimed at sharing key insights and learnings with other Indian DISCOMs, state regulators, and power sector stakeholders in India and across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean,” stated GEAPP. “This knowledge-sharing initiative underscores GEAPP’s commitment to driving innovation and scalability in the energy sector in India and emerging markets worldwide.”

GEAPP’s role in the project extends beyond financing.

“Through technical and commercial expertise, GEAPP collaborated closely with BRPL to demonstrate the value of BESS at the discom level,” stated GEAPP. “The concessional loan provided by GEAPP ensures an end tariff that is attractive to regulators, paving the way for future BESS projects in the country.”

BRPL will pay a fixed-capacity tariff to the project's special-purpose vehicle (SPV), Kilokari BESS. The SPV is owned by IndiGrid and Ampere-hour Energy.

“This project’s business model demonstrates the viability of third-party-owned BESS solutions supported by concessional financing,” stated GEAPP. “This model, combined with rigorous monitoring and knowledge-sharing mechanisms, provides a blueprint for sustainable energy deployment worldwide that can be shared with interested countries, developers, and other partners through the BESS consortium.”

GEAPP is an alliance of philanthropy, governments in emerging and developed economies, and technology, policy, and financing partners. It aims to help low- and middle-income countries to shift to a clean energy, pro-growth model that accelerates universal energy access and inclusive economic growth, while supporting the global community to meet critical climate goals over the next decade.

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