Centre launches project to integrate renewable power with national grid

Eight renewable energy management centres (REMCs) are now active, recording data from different projects across the country and forecasting supply
As India inches closer to renewable power capacity of 100 gigawatt (GW) plans are afoot to integrate it seamlessly with the National Grid and make its scheduling smooth. Eight renewable energy management centres (REMCs) are now active, recording data from different projects across the country and forecasting supply.

Renewal energy supply can be seasonal (wind) or limited to some hours in the day (solar). It disturbs the power grid, used to seamless supply of thermal power. So these REMCs were set up as part of the Green Energy Corridor (GEC). This is aimed at transmitting, scheduling, forecasting and integrating renewable energy with the grid.

The REMC project is the first such attempt on a national scale to bring all renewable energy generation and allied control operations under a standardised framework, consistent across all states and regions. REMCs will be under the umbrella of the Power System Operator Corporation (POSOCO), which is the country’s grid operator.

The Ministry of Power, along with GIZ Germany, is funding these REMCs, which were awarded to the private sector for operations and management, said an official. Eleven REMCs were planned. These are located at the state-load despatch centres that report to the POSOCO.

Gurugram-based REConnect Energy has won contract of forecasting and scheduling for all the 11 REMCs. Siemens won the contract for the western region. Minnesota-headquartered OSI is managing the southern region.

“Due to difference in the actual and forecast, integration of renewable energy becomes difficult. This impacts the planning of the whole system, including backing down or increasing conventional energy in the grid to balance renewables. REMCs will assist in handling this issue,” said an official.

REMCs are equipped with SCADA or remote-monitoring software, automated scheduling, and an artificial intelligence-based platform for forecast of renewable energy.

REConnect’s single-technology platform GRIDConnect will integrate close to 63 GW of renewable energy projects, said an executive. This will help in energy prediction as well as scheduling from 2019 till 2026.

At the same time, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the apex technical body of the Ministry of Power, is setting up a new division to look over day-to-day developments, capacity addition and grid integration of renewable-based power.

With the share of renewable power increasing, the CEA plans to put out daily data on renewable as it does for thermal and hydro power, and coal demand.

For this, CEA will source data from these REMCs.

During the peak summer demand months, renewable energy was 15-30 per cent of the total power generation in the country, which is a record, said official sources. In terms of million units of energy productions, renewable has seen a 10 per cent growth over the past year.

Officials also said the increasing share makes it pertinent to track and plan renewable energy better. The data collected by the CEA will be on a public portal.

The POSOCO already has real-time data of conventional power, along with demand and supply on its website. It is building another portal for renewables. Officials said the website would be live soon.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel