Why in News?                                                                                                        

The Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI) under the aegis of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, has successfully commissioned India’s largest Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), which stores energy using solar energy in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh.

What is India’s largest Battery Energy Storage System (BESS)?

  • The 40 megawatts (MW) / 120MWh BESS with a solar photovoltaic (PV) plant which has an installed capacity of 152.325-megawatt hour (MWh)and dispatchable capacity of 100MW AC (155.02 MW peak DC).
  • The energy would be purchased by the state of Chhattisgarh, thus contributing to meeting the peak energy demand of the state using green electrons and also towards its renewable purchase obligations.
  • The project using solar panels and battery storage represents a monumental leap forward in generation and use of renewable energy.
  • The project utilizes battery storage for storing solar energy when the sun is shining and using it later during hours of peak demand in the evening, for meeting the electricity demand in the state.
  • The project has deployed bifacial modules, which reflect the light from the ground, thus generating more electricity than monofacial modules, hence setting a new standard for large-scale renewable energy projects.
  • A unique aspect of this project is its strategic use of previously unused land.
  • Through a tripartite land-use permission agreement among the Energy Department of the Government of Chhattisgarh, Chhattisgarh State Power Distribution Company Limited (CSPDCL), and SECI, 451 acres of waste land across 9 villages in Tehsil Dongargarh and Dongargaon, District Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh, have been repurposed.
  • The project has thus adopted a sustainable approach to energy project development, while minimizing environmental impact.
  • The project has been constructed with funding from the World Bank and Clean Technology Fundunder Innovation in Solar Power & Hybrid Technologies Project as well as leveraged financing from domestic lending agencies.