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Large Scale Grid Integration of RES Way Forward

Generation from Renewable Energy Sources (RES) in India is concentrated in a few states. Such
generation cannot be termed marginal generation and the variability factor requires serious thought.

It is emphasized that the need to facilitate large scale integration of variable RES is in the interest of grid
security. It however points out that with the country moving towards a tighter frequency band, balancing
the variable RES is going to be more challenging.

Generation from renewable energy primarily depends on nature. In case of wind power, the determining
factor is wind velocity. Solar power is dependent on sunshine.

The issue of variability in generation from RES can be addressed through improved forecasting
techniques. Such techniques are at present evolving. As the share of power generated from RES
increases, accurate forecasting of the output will assume more significance.

The key therefore lies on balancing the variable output of power generated from RES located in the few
states through integration into the all India grid.

Currently, the countrys inter-state and inter-regional transmission infrastructure is being developed. It is
expected that the five electrical regions are going to be synchronously connected in 2014. However, new
transmission corridors will be required for evacuating green energy from states such as Tamil Nadu,
Gujarat, Rajasthan and J&K (Ladakh).

Taking into account the short gestation period of renewable energy plants, transmission planners in the
country recognise that transmission has to lead generation and will require upfront investment.
Accordingly, plans for transmission corridors required in the next five years have been firmed up and their
implementation is underway. As on August 31, 2013, the countrys total installed capacity stood at
2,27,357 MW. Of this, RES constituted 12.4 per cent or 28,184 MW. During 2012-13, the generation from
RES was around 47 billion units constituting 5 per cent of the total all India generation of 959 billion units.

The countrys RES capacity is concentrated in five states Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka
and Tamil Nadu. Out of the five states, in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, the percentage of RES
capacity in the total installed capacity is substantial. While in Gujarat it is 18 per cent, the RES capacity in
Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan stands at 40.2 per cent and 26 per cent respectively. In all five states, the RES
are predominantly wind and solar.

Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan together have 70 per cent of the countrys total wind generation
capacity (18,500 MW). In solar, the three states lead with 91 per cent of the total capacity (1,500 MW).

The 12th Five-Year Plan envisages a capacity addition of 88,537 MW from conventional generation. An
assessment made by the CEA reveals that a RES capacity addition of 32,000 MW is likely in the eight
states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and
Kashmir and Rajasthan during the 12th Plan period. Out of the planned 32,000 MW RES capacity
addition, approximately 30,000 MW will come from wind and solar.

CONCENTRATION OF RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES (MW)


Conventio
Solar
nal
Win
Bioma Bagas
(> 1
Generatio d
ss
se
MW)
n

State

Sm
RES capacity as %
Total
all
of total
RES
hyd
generation
MW
el
capacity

9,588

2,68
3

553

106

24

3,366

26%

Gujarat

18,479

3,16
4

857

31

4,058

18%

Maharasht
ra

27,137

3,00
8

206

127

Karnataka

10,247

2,14
2

14

106

Tamil
Nadu

11,974

7,17
9

20

204

659

Total

77,425

18,1
1,650
76

574

2,802

Rajasthan

996

332 4,669

14.7%

1,147 701 4,110

28.6%

8,062
1,0 24,26
63
5

40.2%
23.86%

States deploy different methods to manage the variations in generation from RES. Tamil Nadu, for
example, resorts to cutting down generation in the old coal-based power plants. Gujarat keeps a margin
in its thermal and hydro generation to manage the variations of wind and solar generation. Rajasthan
uses its coal and lignite based generating plants to balance the wind variability by reducing to the extent
that they do not need oil support for steady flame in the boiler. The two gas-based stations in the state,
Ramgarh (113 MW) and Dholpur (330 MW) are also used for balancing.

Adopting accurate forecasting techniques with regard to generation from RES is very important to ensure
protection of the grid. Each state needs to assess its balancing capacity before entering into renewable
energy purchase obligations, further adding that the respective buyer state of renewable energy should
be responsible for maintaining its load-generation balance taking into account the revised forecasts of the
renewable energy portfolios.

Following are the recommendation:

Setting up of real time markets to provide a platform for selling surplus power or buying power
when in deficit

Technical and regulatory measures for enhancing the flexibility of conventional generation so as
to increase the balancing capacity of the grid

Establishment of Renewable Energy Management Centers (REMC) equipped with advanced


forecasting tools

Smart dispatching solutions and real time monitoring of renewable energy generation

Setting up of wind farms through competitive bidding to reduce tariff

Regular monitoring of grid protection schemes

International cooperation for developing REMCs in renewable rich states

Balancing capabilities using indigenous sources of conventional power

Optimum development of enabling transmission infrastructure and capacity building of grid


operators.