The Flourishing Indian Green Power Sector

Indian government has a very ambitious plan with renewable energies. The government has been putting its best effort to reduce the country’s carbon footprint. In 2024, we have already witnessed a few excellent projects to yield results. Read on… - P. K. Chatterjee (PK)

Indian power sector has been undergoing a big transformation, and since the beginning of this year (2024) the sector has been witnessing several achievements in the area of green power harnessing. The credit goes to both public and private companies, which are aligning their goals with the national target. Of course, smooth financing is also boosting the advancement of this fast flourishing sector.

Our present government has set a target to reduce the carbon intensity of the nation’s economy by less than 45% by the end of this decade. It has also set a target to generate 50% of (electric) power from renewable sources by 2030 that will be a great fillip to the government’s long-term target i.e., to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.

After successful completion, the day a project goes operational, that starts benefitting the nation, and of course the capacity additions continue to happen later. Thus, today, I will present a few major achievements in this sector since January 2024.

Work progress on the world’s largest renewable energy park

Adani Green Energy Limited (AGEL), India’s largest renewable energy (RE) company and the second largest solar PV developer in the world, has operationalized 551 MW solar capacity in Khavda, Gujarat, by supplying power to the national grid.

Selection of the site: The region is endowed with one of the best wind and solar resources in the country, which makes it ideal for giga-scale RE development. AGEL conducted extensive studies and deployed multiple innovative solutions to accelerate the development of the plant.

Significance of the project: AGEL achieved this milestone within 12 months of commencing work on the Khavda RE park, starting with the development of basic infrastructure, including roads and connectivity, and creating a self-sustaining social ecosystem. AGEL also transformed the challenging and barren terrain of the Rann of Kutch into a habitable environment for its 8,000-strong workforce.

In line with the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ vision, AGEL is not only focusing on clean energy production but also on developing indigenous and resilient supply chains with significantly increased share of localized procurement, such as WTGs and trackers.

The project utilizes waterless robotic cleaning to address dust accumulation on solar panels, which will contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 by conserving water in the arid Kutch region and maximize electricity generation.

AGEL is actively engaged in community development initiatives across several villages in the region, focusing on education, health, women empowerment, water conservation, and enhancing community infrastructure as part of its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) efforts.

Future plan: AGEL has plans to develop 30 GW of renewable energy capacity at this RE park. The planned capacity is expected to be operationalized in the next five years. When completed, the Khavda RE park will be the largest renewable energy installation in the world.

Energy from the Khavda RE park can power 16.1 million homes each year. With proven expertise in developing large scale renewable projects, a robust supply chain network and technological prowess, AGEL is best positioned to build this record-setting giga-scale plant with no parallel in the world’s clean energy sector.

Gautam Adani, Chairman, Adani Group

Commenting on their venture, Gautam Adani, Chairman, Adani Group, said, “Adani Green Energy is creating one of the world’s most extensive renewable energy ecosystems for solar and wind. Through bold and innovative projects like the Khavda RE plant, AGEL continues to set higher global benchmarks and rewrite the world’s planning and execution standards for giga-scale renewable energy projects. This milestone is a validation of the Adani Group’s commitment and leading role in accelerating India’s equitable clean energy transition journey towards its ambitious goals of 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030 and carbon neutrality.”

First indigenously manufactured hydrogen electrolyser

By now the potential of hydrogen as the source of energy (and energy storage) is well known. India has set its target on becoming energy independent by 2047 and achieving Net Zero by 2070. To achieve this target, increasing renewable energy use across all economic spheres is central to India’s energy transition. Green Hydrogen is considered a promising alternative for enabling this transition.

Hydrogen can be utilized for long-duration storage of renewable energy, replacement of fossil fuels in industry, clean transportation, and potentially also for decentralized power generation, aviation, and marine transport. The National Green Hydrogen Mission was approved by the Union Cabinet on January 4, 2022, with the intended objectives of:

  • Making India a leading producer and supplier of Green Hydrogen in the world
  • Creation of export opportunities for Green Hydrogen and its derivatives
  • Reduction in dependence on imported fossil fuels and feedstock
  • Development of indigenous manufacturing capabilities
  • Attracting investment and business opportunities for the industry
  • Creating opportunities for employment and economic development
  • Supporting R&D projects.

With this background, recently Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has achieved a significant milestone in the clean energy space by commissioning its first indigenously manufactured electrolyser at the Green Hydrogen Plant at A M Naik Heavy Engineering Complex in Hazira, Gujarat.

Electrolysers: These devices use electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, are a critical technology for producing low-emission hydrogen from renewable or nuclear electricity.

This pioneering accomplishment signifies L&T Electrolysers Limited’s foray into domestic electrolyser manufacturing, underscoring the company’s steadfast dedication to propelling sustainable energy solutions.

L&T’s electrolyser: Featuring a rated power capacity of 1 MW (expandable to 2 MW), this electrolyser can produce 200 Nm3/Hr of hydrogen. It is equipped with two stacks and an Electrolyser Processing Unit (EPU) ML-400, which is indigenously manufactured and assembled, adhering to the latest international standards, and offers exceptional flexibility and thermal stability. The electrolyser will now undergo rigorous testing to optimise its performance, and in turn, paving the way for full-fledged manufacturing of electrolysers.

L&T Electrolysers Ltd: This is a newly incorporated entity of L&T, which is focused on manufacturing pressurised alkaline electrolysers using the technology from McPhy Energy, France. The company spearheaded the complete value chain from engineering to manufacturing, in collaboration with Indian vendors and suppliers, thus setting a benchmark for “Make in India” initiatives.

L&T Electrolysers plans to leverage its upcoming giga-scale facility in Hazira to meet the growing demand for green hydrogen, maximising product localisation through enhanced local supply chain, and automation for cost-competitiveness.

Subramanian Sarma, Whole-time Director & Sr EVP (Energy), L&T

Commenting on the development, Subramanian Sarma, Whole-time Director & Sr EVP (Energy), L&T, said, “The indigenously manufactured electrolyser marks a transformative leap towards clean energy, positioning us to lead not only in the domestic market but also globally. This advancement significantly bolsters our offerings across the value chain, showcasing L&T as a global force in the clean energy space.”

Derek M. Shah, Sr VP & Head – Green Energy Business, L&T   

Adding further, Derek M. Shah, Sr VP & Head – Green Energy Business, L&T, said, “Our commitment to localisation in this project goes beyond mere cost-efficiency. It empowers the Indian supply chain, creates exciting opportunities for skilled professionals, and aligns perfectly with the vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat.”

L&T Electrolysers has been allocated a significant 300 MW/annum capacity under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) of the National Green Hydrogen Mission, launched by Government of India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and implemented by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). This allocation underscores L&T Electrolysers’ potential to emerge as a key player in electrolyser manufacturing.

India’s largest solar and battery energy storage system

Tata Power Solar Systems Limited (TPSSL), a fully integrated solar company in India and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited (TPREL), has recently commissioned India’s largest Solar and Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) project that comprises 100 MW Solar PV Project coupled with 120 MWh Utility Scale Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), at Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh.

The contract: TPSSL bagged this ` 945 crore project on EPC basis from the Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd. (SECI) in December 2021. The order’s scope included engineering, design, supply, construction, erection, testing, O&M and commissioning of the projects.

Project management: The TPSSL team displayed exceptional project execution and engineering prowess during the project execution, which faced various challenges such as unsuitable full hard rock soil conditions, and remote location. In spite of these, the project was completed in the stipulated time frame. The cutting-edge Bifacial Mono Crystalline technology was used for 239,685 modules in the project.

Deepesh Nanda, CEO and Managing Director, Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd

Commenting on their success, Deepesh Nanda, CEO and Managing Director, Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited, said, “The successful commissioning of the largest solar and battery storage project for SECI, reflects the technical expertise and project execution skills of Tata Power Solar. This will ensure round-the-clock green energy and accelerate the renewable energy transition through innovative solutions.”

The project is expected to generate an estimated 243.53 million units of energy annually and reduce carbon footprint of 4.87 million tonnes in 25 years, contributing significantly to India’s renewable energy goals. This achievement echoes the constant pursuit of excellence and collaborative spirit as the BESS for the project was supplied by Tata AutoComp Systems Limited.

By P. K. Chatterjee (PK)

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