India’s first 24/7 solar-powered city with battery storage and smart controls

Modhera in the Indian state of Gujarat is the country’s first fully solar-powered city, demonstrating that battery storage can enable 24/7 clean energy and rural electricity access .

GreenPowerMonitor, which provided the power plant controller and energy management system (EMS) to the project, said the smart combination of solar power with battery storage with smart controls can solve the very challenge. complex to create the entire energy network of a community.

Modhera has a population of just 1,400 and is home to the Sun Temple dedicated to the Hindu sun deity Surya.

It was chosen as the ideal location to demonstrate that access to electricity can be made equitable, universal and fully renewable, in a project supported by the government’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) national.

The MNRE published the tender for the program in March 2020, citing that the Modhera’s “Solarization Scheme” aimed to present Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s own vision for the historic city, namely “to ensure that the domestic and agricultural electricity needs of all households in Modhera are fully met by solar energy, thus establishing a demonstration pilot project for a village/town running entirely on solar energy”.

As requested in the tender, a 6 MW solar photovoltaic power plant, a 6 MW/15 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS), 271 rooftop solar panels of 1 kW each , smart meters and electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment have been installed.

GreenPowerMonitor, which is a digital renewable energy services company owned by DNV Certification and Standards Group, has been appointed by Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor Mahindra Susten to provide integrated monitoring, monitoring, data management and on-site display for the hybrid power plant. .

FIMER supplied six units of 1 MVA bi-directional power conversion system (PCS) including solar inverters, which announced in early May. The project went live in just one year, with go-live in August 2021.

This week, GreenPowerMonitor (GPM) provided more details about its involvement in the project and the company’s regional manager said its successful operation so far indicated the huge potential of hybrid renewable energy plus energy storage.

“Combining solar photovoltaic and batteries in a hybrid project is a challenge, but opens up a wide range of possibilities to provide 100% renewable and clean energy to local communities,” said Sergi Bosque Garcia, adding that the flagship project “can be replicated in other regions”. with similar needs.

“…we hope this will become a standard solution and a benchmark in the renewable energy industry.”

GPM’s Power Plant Controller (PPC) and Energy Management System (EMS) are used as the main system controllers, allowing batteries and other components to manage black start / grid formation (islanding ), energy transfer, state of charge (SoC) battery management and balancing in addition to frequency and voltage support.

GPM has created its digital platforms to maximize the production and integration of renewable energy and monitors 54 GW of renewable energy assets worldwide, said the company’s CEO, Juan Carlos Alevaro. in a recent interview.

“As you can imagine, when we talk about renewables, we’re also talking about storage, because we see the future as a combination of all technologies plus storage,” Alevaro said.

“Storage is an enabler, it’s not a source of production, it’s an enabler for other technologies, to maximize how to get the most out of it, and what we want is to offer through our power plant control and energy management system, that’s flexibility.”

The R650 million ($8.37 million) cost of the Modhera 24/7 solar project was shared 50/50 by the Gujarat State Government and the National Union Government. Both hope that the project can truly serve as a replicable example for other regions, which it has proven so far.

Another type of 24/7 renewable energy supply was contracted in August 2021 by the government company Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), which signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Independent Power Producer (IPP) ReNew Power for a 400MW “Round-the-Clock” Electricity Supply Contract (RTC). This involves the use of a combined 1,300 MW of wind and solar power, as well as BESS technology.

Don’t miss our free webinar, “Learning About India’s Current and Future Business Models for Energy Storage”, featuring Clean Horizon and guest speakers from Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and Customized Energy Solutions. It takes place on Wednesday June 22 and you can register here.

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