Switzerland-based E2S Power, a developer of thermal energy storage solutions, and power utility firm India Power Corporation Ltd (IPCL) have signed an agreement for a 250 kWh pilot thermal energy storage unit to be operated in India.

The pilot unit has been engineered, built, and tested at E2S Power facility in less than nine months. It has passed factory acceptance tests and will be delivered to India in the first quarter of 2023.

“This collaboration will help in transforming thermal power assets into clean energy storage facilities, contributing significantly to the nation’s renewable energy growth, since this solution can be deployed in the near term to provide urgently needed energy storage while using most of the infrastructure in thermal power plants being retired and safeguarding jobs,” said a press statement issued by the company.

Demand for storage

According to Somesh Dasgupta, Whole-time Director, IPCL, the association comes at a time when there is more and more emphasis being laid on clean energy. There is huge demand and potential for long duration energy storage system in India and this thermal storage technology is the best match to repurpose the retiring thermal power plants. Through this JV the company expects to cater an estimated demand of 10 GW of Long Duration Energy Storage System (LDESS) within next 8-10 years, he said in the statement.

IPCL and E2S Power will work jointly with major companies in the power and renewable energy sector in the country to identify, evaluate and offer optimised integrated thermal energy solutions for existing plants and facilities being phased out.

“The technology will provide solution for meeting the requirement of flexibilisation of thermal power plant. Through this pilot project in India we will showcase the real time operation of the technology for easy and confident decision making by all the stakeholders,”Anand K Pandey, Head of Renewables and New Business, IPCL said.

According to Sasha Savic, CEO, E2S Power, India is one of the most important energy markets in the world. The growth in renewable energy capacity and opportunity to utilize valuable existing power infrastructure are a perfect fit for thermal energy storage technology developed by the company’s engineers.

The evolving power generation mix and growing demand present new challenges and opportunities in operating and maintaining a reliable power system. New storage technologies will play a key role in achieving India’s renewable energy target of 500 GW by 2030. E2S Power thermal energy storage is a solution which provides a pathway to green energy while giving new life to existing assets, retaining skilled jobs and creating new ones, the release said.