State-run hydropower major NHPC is pursuing pumped storage projects (PSPs) of more than 20,000 megawatts (MW) capacity across States such as Maharashtra, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

PSPs utilises surplus grid power available from thermal power stations or other sources to pump up water from lower to upper reservoir and reproduces power during peak demand when there is scarcity of power.

“Towards development of PSPs, NHPC is pursuing the development of 20,625 MW capacities in different States of the country and also has signed a number of MoUs towards this aim. These include MoUs with Department of Energy (Maharashtra), Odisha through GRIDCO, DVC and Department of Energy (Andhra Pradesh),” NHPC CMD R K Vishnoi told businessline.

It is critically important to take up large scale development of hydro PSPs in the country, as it can play a vital role in grid balancing and can be utilised to meet the peak power requirements, energy arbitrage, ancillary services, RE smoothing, he explained.

Vishnoi emphasised that in line with the paradigm shift towards clean energy transition and trajectory of energy markets in the country, NHPC as a business growth plan has diversified its business portfolio towards development of PSPs.

Push to Hydro PSPs

The Power Ministry has initiated several policy initiatives to speed up implementation of PSPs, which are crucial for integrating intermittent renewable energy (RE) with the power transmission grid. They enable supply of dispatchable RE power and help in meeting the peak requirement of the power grid.

Last month, the then Power Secretary Alok Kumar had told businessline that the ministry has come out with guidelines for PSPs in April 2023 and has received good response. “I’m told that industry has approached the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) for close to 30,000 megawatts (MW) of projects,” he has said.

PSP projects

The CEA has projected a requirement of 236 gigawatt hours (GWh) of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) and 27 GW of PSP by FY32 in the country.

The identified potential of PSPs in India is about 119 GW (comprising 109 PSPs). Out of this, eight projects (4.7 GW) are under operation and four projects (2.8 GW) are under construction. The government aims to commission 39 hydro PSPs of 47 gigawatt (GW) capacity by FY30.

Besides, the CEA has given concurrence for two projects (2.3 GW) and construction of these two projects is slated to start shortly.

Further, 33 projects (42 GW) are under survey and investigation for preparation of DPRs. Out of these 33 projects, the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has already given terms of reference to 22 projects.