Power distribution company BSES Yamuna has launched a pilot project to establish solar microgrids, becoming one of the first discoms in the country to do so in an urban setting. A similar rollout is planned for south and west Delhi areas as well. This is a part of the discom’s green division initiative to accelerate the penetration of renewable energy.
These microgrids will combine rooftop solar energy storage systems with Lithium Ion (Li-ion) based batteries. Four such microgrids have been set-up at BYPL offices in east Delhi to demonstrate the technology. The energy generated through the rooftop solar caters to the internal power requirements of office loads and charges the batteries. The surplus is fed into the grid, which has the potential to reduce electricity bills.
According to experts, these microgrids have multiple benefits, both for the consumer and the discom, like — preventing outages by sharing the load with distribution transformers (DT), power availability even in case of an outage from the main grid, auto demand response in case of peak power, reduction in energy bills etc.
The discom reported that the initial results of the pilot project were very encouraging. “The rooftop solar microgrids vary between 5 KW and 7 KW and energy battery storage between 7kWhr and 10 kWhr. Initial results show 92% of energy requirement was generated and met through the solar plant coupled with the energy battery storage,” a spokesperson said. Around 1,245 litres of diesel and 0.24 million units of electricity amounting to around Rs. 20 lakh can be saved on an annual basis by the solar microgrids, besides reducing carbon dioxide emissions of around 205 tonnes.
A pan discom (including at consumer location) rollout of 1,000 such microgrids has the potential to save around 62 million units of electricity and over 3 lakh litres of diesel amounting to around Rs 41 crore annually — cumulatively for the discom and the consumers. “Moreover, this will lead to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of around 51,000 tonnes,’’ said officials.
To gauge and assess the system performance of the microgrid and to popularise the concept, the discom has tied-up with Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), South Asia’s leading not for profit research institution.
While intial costs for this project are on the higher side, officials said that costs for establishing a microgrid are competitive and are likely to further go-down as the market trends suggest. “At present, the cost of setting-up a roof-top solar system is around Rs. 40,000 per KW and around Rs. 80,000 per KW for an energy storage system,’’ said a BSES official.
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