After using Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) to power India’s first 24*7 solar village at Modhera, Gujarat is now planning to scale it up by setting up a larger BESS at Charanka --- the first solar park set up in the state in 2010. 

 “The project at Modhera was the first-of-its-kind demonstration project of MW (megawatt) scale and now we will further scale it up. At Charanka, we are putting up a BESS where we will use 20 Mwh battery and 60 Mwh battery capacity systems for storing the power. We will let the power go when there is peak demand. This project is largely to provide farmers solar power during day-time for agricultural purposes,” a state government official told businessline

The official said that the state-run Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (GPCL)  has already begun the bidding process for this BESS project. Currently, most of the 8-hour-long subsidised electricity supplied to farmers for agricultural purposes in Gujarat, is provided after night-fall. 

When asked what has been the learnings from the Modhera project which was dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October, 2022, the official said the project in the last two years has provided net savings amounting to ₹31 lakh to 1,400 solar rooftop consumers in and around Modhera.

“In addition to their energy consumption, around 2.1 million units (MUs) of solar energy have been exported to the grid by the solar rooftop consumers, resulting in net savings of approximately ₹31 lakh,” the official said. At Modhera, the implementing agency GPCL, had installed a 15 Mwh capacity BESS which was directly connected to a 11Kv feeder supplying power to Modhera village. “This helped in providing round the clock solar power to Modhera village. The BESS helps in load management and uninterrupted supply of power at the distribution level,” the official added.

Battery storage is a technology that enables storage of electricity for later use. A BESS is an electrochemical device that charges or collects energy from the solar plant (in this case) and then discharges the energy at night when the solar plant is not functional.

A nodal agency for renewable energy in Gujarat, GPCL currently has about 2,000 MW of installed renewable energy capacity. “GPCL is planning to add 2,000 MW of solar power to its existing capacity by June, 2025. These solar projects are expected to come in Porbandar and Banaskantha districts of the state,” the official said.