Telangana plans to store solar power in batteries. ———-Published in Times of India Feb19 shared by P
HYDERABAD: Beating all Indian states, Telangana has topped the country by achieving 3,250 MW solar power capacity, top officials said. Telangana is followed by Rajasthan with 2,250 MW, Andhra Pradesh with 2,045 MW and Gujarat with 1,715 MW solar power. Gujarat has decided to call for auctions for another 50s0 MW of solar power. Untitled-21 Telangana is now planning to develop solar power storage the help of battery assisted system. Since, there is a mismatch between peak demand and electricity generation period for solar power, the state needs new technologies to store solar energy and utilise it at the time of increased demand. Solar panels cannot produce energy at night or during cloudy periods but rechargeable batteries can solve this problem. The photovoltaic panels charge the battery during the day and this power can be accessed in the evening. “We get peak demand in the morning when the solar energy generation is low. But by afternoon, we are able to produce about 1,720 MW solar energy with the installed capacity of 3,250 MW. We are studying various options including battery storage systems to utilise total solar power capacity,” D Prabhakar Rao, chairman and managing director (CMD) of Telangana Transco and Genco told TOI. However, he expressed concern over the high cost of the storage system. This would raise the solar electricity cost to the consumer to ₹10 per 2.5 kV, he said. Currently, coal-fired power plants compete with solar panels during off-peak periods with rates hovering around ₹1 to ₹1.50 per kwh. Solar panels operate at a nominal cost as no fuel cost is involved and maintenance cost is the only operational cost. Of late, solar is seen as the cheapest form of electricity, as the latest auctions show that it could be available at less than ₹3.5 per unit and hence one can imagine a situation where solar power price go down to ₹1-1.5 per unit in the near future. “ Battery storage will also have some environment issues as they emit pollutants. We are looking at a smaller, village based battery storage units to cater to the needs of 100 to 200 households,” said the CMD. Recent improvements in battery technology have significantly reduced costs.
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