Context: Government has given go ahead for inviting the expression of interest for installation of 1000 MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) as a pilot project. 

About the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) Project

  • This is the joint effort of both the Ministry of New and Renewable energy and the Ministry of Power who have been working on this to provide a road map for the installation of the energy storage system in the country.
  • Objective
    • In order to support the ambitious goal of achieving 450 GW renewable energy target of the Ministry of New and renewable energy by 2030, it is important that it gets duly supported with installation of energy storage systems (battery energy storage system, hydro pump storage plants etc.).
  • Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a CPSU under Ministry of New and renewable energy, has called for the expression of interest for procurement of 1000 MWh BESS. 
  • This will be published along with the RFS bid document and the draft comprehensive guideline for procurement and utilization of BESS as a part of generation, transmission and distribution assets and with all ancillary services. 
  • Based on the suggestions and the feedback from various stakeholders, the final RFS document will be floated in the first week of November 2021; 
    • Along with the final comprehensive guidelines for procurement and utilization of BESS as a part of generation, transmission and distribution assets and with all ancillary services.

India plans to use energy storage system under following business cases

  • Renewable energy along with the energy storage system
  • Energy storage system as grid element to maximize the use of transmission system and strengthen grid stability and also to save investment in the augmentation of transmission infrastructure.
  • Storage as an asset for balancing services and flexible operation.  
  • The system operator i.e. load dispatchers (RLDCs and SLDCs) may use storage systems for frequency control and balancing services to manage the inherent uncertainty/variations in the load due to un-generation.
  • Storage for the distribution system i.e. it may be placed at the load centre to manage its peak load and other obligations.
  • As a merchant capacity by the energy storage system developer and sell in the power market
  • Any other future business models as a combination of the above.

Battery Energy Storage System (BESS)

  • Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is a technology developed for storing electric charge by using specially developed batteries. 
  • The underlying idea being that such stored energy can be utilized at a later time.
  • Enormous amount of research has led to battery advances that has shaped the concept of Battery Energy Storage System into a commercial reality.
  • Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESSs) are a sub-set of Energy Storage Systems (ESSs). 
  • Energy Storage System is a general term for the ability of a system to store energy using thermal, electro-mechanical or electro-chemical solutions. 
  • A BESS typically utilizes an electro-chemical solution.
  • Essentially, all Energy Storage Systems capture energy and store it for use at a later time or date. 
  • Examples of these systems include pumped hydro, compressed air storage, mechanical flywheels, and now BESSs. 
  • These systems complement intermittent sources of energy such as wind, tidal and solar power in an attempt to balance energy production and consumption.

Characteristics of a Battery Energy Storage System

  • Response Time — Amount of time required for a storage system to go from standby mode to full output. This performance criterion is one important indicator of the flexibility of storage as a grid resource relative to alternatives.
  • Round-trip Efficiency — Indicates the amount of usable energy that can be discharged from a storage system relative to the amount of energy that was put in. This accounts for the energy lost during each charge and discharge cycle. Typical values range from 60% to 95%.
  • Ramp Rate — Ramp rate indicates the rate at which storage power can be varied. A ramp rate for batteries can be faster than 100% variation in one to a few seconds.
  • Energy Retention or Standby Losses — Energy retention time is the amount of time that a storage system retains its charge. The concept of energy retention is important because of the tendency for some types of storage to self-discharge or to dissipate energy while the storage is not in use.
  • Energy Density — The amount of energy that can be stored for a given amount of area, volume, or mass. This criterion is important in applications where area is a limiting factor, for example, in an urban substation where space could be a limiting constraint to site energy storage.
  • Power Density — Power density indicates the amount of power that can be delivered for a given amount of area, volume, or mass. In addition, like energy density, power density varies significantly among storage types. Again, power density is important if area and/or space are limited or if weight is an issue.
  • Safety — Safety is related to both electricity and to the specific materials and processes involved in storage systems. The chemicals and reactions used in batteries can pose safety or fire concerns.
  • Life span — measured in cycles.
  • Depth of Discharge (DoD) — Refers to the amount of the battery’s capacity that has been utilized. It is expressed as a percentage of the battery’s full energy capacity. The deeper a battery’s discharge, the shorter the expected life time. Deep cycle is often defined as 80% or more DoD.
  • Ambient temperature — Has an important effect on battery performance. High ambient temperatures cause internal reactions to occur, and many batteries lose capacity more rapidly in hotter climates.

Reason behind BESS gaining popularity

  • Decreasing Cost
    • A major factor in the rapid increase in the use of BESS technology has been a 50% decrease in costs of energy storage over the last two years. 
  • Security of supply
    • Storage technologies are also popular because they improve energy security by optimizing energy supply and demand, reducing the need to import electricity via inter-connectors, and also reducing the need to continuously adjust generation unit output.
  • Financial Incentive
    • Many governments and utility regulators are actively encouraging the development of battery storage systems with financial incentives, which is likely to lead to further growth.
  • Risk involved in using BESS
    • While the use of batteries is nothing new, what is new is the size, complexity, energy density of the systems and the Li-ion battery chemistry involved — which can lead to significant fire risks.
  • Thermal Runaway
    • ‘Thermal runaway’ — a cycle in which excessive heat keeps creating more heat — is the major risk for Li-ion battery technology. 
    • It can be caused by a battery having internal cell defects, mechanical failures/damage or over voltage. 
    • These lead to high temperatures, gas build-up and potential explosive rupture of the battery cell, resulting in fire and/or explosion. 
    • Without disconnection, thermal runaway can also spread from one cell to the next, causing further damage.
  • Difficulty of fighting battery fires
    • Battery fires are often very intense and difficult to control. They can take days or even weeks to extinguish properly, and may seem fully extinguished when they are not.
  • Failure of control systems
    • Another issue can be failure of protection and control systems. For example, a Battery Management System (BMS) failure can lead to overcharging and an inability to monitor the operating environment, such as temperature or cell voltage.
  • Sensitivity of batteries to mechanical damage and electrical transients
    • Contrary to existing conventional battery technology, some batteries are very sensitive to mechanical damage and electrical surges. 
    • This type of damage can result in internal battery short circuits which lead to internal battery heating, battery explosions and fires. 
    • The loss of an individual battery can rapidly cascade to surrounding batteries, resulting in a larger scale fire.

Related Facts

Supporting Scheme

Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for manufacturing Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) battery.

  • An estimated outlay of manufacturing is ₹18,100 crore.
  • Major battery consuming sectors includes which are expected to be benefitted are:
    • Consumer Electronics.
    • Electric Vehicles.
    • Advance Electricity grid.
    • Solar rooftop.
  • The outcomes/ benefits expected from the scheme are as follows:
    • Setup a cumulative 50 GWh of ACC manufacturing facilities in India under the Programme.
    • Direct investment of around Rs.45,000 crore in ACC Battery storage manufacturing projects.
    • Facilitate demand creation for battery storage in India.
    • Facilitate Make-in-India: Greater emphasis upon domestic value-capture and therefore reduction in import dependence.
    • Net savings of Indian Rs. 2,00,000 crore to Rs.2,50,000 crore on account of oil import bill reduction during the period of this Programme due to EV adoption as ACCs manufactured under the Programme is expected to accelerate EV adoption.
    • The manufacturing of ACCs will facilitate demand for EVs, which are proven to be significantly less polluting. 
      • As India pursues an ambitious renewable energy agenda, the ACC program will be a key contributing factor to reduce India's GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emissions which will be in line with India's commitment to combat climate change.
    • Import substitution of around Rs.20,000 crore every year.
    • The impetus to Research & Development to achieve higher specific energy density and cycles in ACC.
    • Promote newer and niche cell technologies.

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