Ksenia Kondratieva

Power industry players are seeking revision of Transmission Corporation of Andhra Pradesh Ltd (AP Transco) tender for setting up India’s largest energy storage project of 400 MW capacity with 8 hours of daily discharge.

In a letter to the transmission utility, seen by BusinessLine , the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Andhra Pradesh said the EoI invited by AP Transco last month lacked clarity on some of the critical technical and commercial parameters crucial for bidders to design their bids. In order to attract large players and to discover a reasonable tariff, the EoI document should be reviewed and revised, CII suggested.

AP Transco has invited EoI for Energy Shifting Solution of 400 MW with 8 hours of daily discharge (3,200 MWh) on February 12 with date of bid submission set on February 25. Energy shifting solution is a storage solution which shifts energy from one time to another for peak load management during the day time.

According to an AP Transco official, a meeting with developers took place on February, 25, where the deadline of the bid submission has been extended to March 11. However, no changes have been made in the EoI document so far, he added.

Industry sources have noted that the utility is yet to take a decision on changing the EoI document. “The government is keen on a large-scale energy storage project and they might be in a hurry mode to close the deal before the election code of conduct curbs kick in,” one of the industry players told BusinessLine .

Sketchy T&C

According to the EOI document, energy shifting solution should be able to discharge energy continuously for at least 3 hours. The system will be required to discharge energy for 3 hours during morning and evening peak hours as well as for 2 hours during the day.

AP Transco plans to set up energy shifting solution by paying fixed annual charges to the developer. On account of scale, energy shifting solution at a centralised location will be cost-effective, the EoI document states.

The CII letter said that tender’s eligibility criteria should be broad-based to allow participation of Indian power sector players, including transmission companies, and prior experience in storage projects should not be mandatory, considering that grid-scale storage is a new concept both in India and globally.

The letter also noted that technical, commercial and financial terms and conditions have not been spelt out and are “very sketchy”. Several parameters such as response time, load cycle, number of charge and discharge cycles and the permission depth of discharge critical for design of the solution are missing from the EOI, it said.

Glaring omissions

CII also pointed out that EoI does not encloses the concession agreement nor mentions about the model of contract; for example, build-own-operate-maintain (BOOM) or (build-own-operate- transfer (BOOT). The EoI document does not elaborate on the scope of work of the developer or AP Transco’s responsibilities and obligations.

All these parameters are essential inputs to develop a bid, CII noted. It added that the time period of less than a month given for submitting bids is inadequate to prepare bankable bids and ‘solicit interest from serious players’.