Central Electricity Authority of India has called for creating a flexible standby capacity to protect electricity grid in case the generation from renewable energy plants drop.
To enable this, the government should call bids from coal, gas and hydro power projects, and successful bidders should surrender the plants to the regional load dispatch centres for creating a common pool for a designated period, Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has said in a report.
While CEA is still evaluating the exact requirement of the supporting power generation capacity in a separate exercise, industry experts said 10% of the country average peak demand is likely to be required for grid balancing.
India’s peak demand is about 150GW and about 10% grid balancing capacity could mean a pool of about 15,000-mw plants. The move, if approved, will bring relief to some of the stressed assets in the power sector. The pool will have to be a mix of hydro, gas and coal plants depending on their response time. Hydro and energy storage can be restarted in lesser time, followed by hydro and coal based plants. India has set up a target of renewable capacity addition of 175 GW by 2021-22 and thus requires flexible generation when wind or solar generation deviates.
“It is recommended that ancillary services in India may be started to ensure capacity on a permanent basis,” CEA said in its report on types of balancing energy resources to facilitate grid integration of renewable energy sources. “It is proposed that the response times of different types of ancillary services, i.e., seconds reserves, 5 minute reserves as well as reserves which respond in about half an hour should be specified, under the functional requirements of ancillary services and any generator or bulk consumer (through demand response), which can achieve these functional requirements, should be allowed to bid for the same,” it said.
Payment to ancillary services should be through a fixed commitment charge and a usage charge, it said.