Assessing the battery backed utility scale Solar Project: Andaman

Posted on Posted in Knowledge Center

As per recent developments, the first ever battery backed Solar Project has been awarded to Mahindra Susten (refer), which emerged as the lowest bidder! This comes as a surprise with Mahindra not winning the last few bids which discovered progressively lower tariffs (INR 3.15, INR 2.44).

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Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) invited bids for setting up the 20 MW project in Andaman and has recently awarded it Mahindra after an extending the bid owing to a poor response earlier (refer). The project will have 28 MWh of battery which equates to 28 MW consumed continuously for one hour. This is a 5 times increase from the current capacity of solar PV around 5 MW in Andaman (Page 1, refer).

This also in line with the government’s goal of the government to provide 24 * 7 power to all electricity consumers in Andaman by 2019 (Page vi, refer). However, the problem in Andaman is not the power deficit (refer to graph below), however the tariff of electricity. The cost of supply of electricity in FY16 was INR 28/unit (refer)! With the installation of Solar Power with a 100 crore grants from the government, cost of supply would drop to INR 8/unit.

Of course, if you look at it standalone, it seems high against INR 2.44/unit, however, a) it’s battery backed power which is costlier b) it’s a whopping 350% discount from the current tariff.

Let’s now look at some facts together:

28MWh= 28000 kWh= 28000 units of electricity

20 MW of panels would produce ~ 70,000 units of electricity [1]

Average household consumption (see table below) is 3.37 units/ day

Number of households served~ 29,000 households

Table:5 Specific Consumption (KWh/HH/Day)

Particulars FY15 FY16 FY17 FY18 FY19
Rural 2.35 2.47 2.59 2.72 2.86
Urban 3.77 3.96 4.16 4.37 4.59

As per report by the government

There is however a small deficit in power supply as per report released by CEA (refer), wherein the availability was lesser than the demand.

We think that this project would be the best prototype for battery backed solar projects to come in the future. The only hope is that, NLC finds buyers and it doesn’t pan out like it has for NTPC (refer). Meanwhile, Ezysolare’s sister concern is working R&D in battery storage. Stay tuned to Ezysolare to know more.


[1]- Assuming that 3.5 units are produced with 1 kW of panels

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