In a first, Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA) has entered into a joint venture with Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and Chennai Metro Rail Ltd to install a 20 MW wind-solar hybrid plant with battery energy storage system (BESS) to cater to energy needs of Metro services.
According to a senior TEDA official, it was a project to demonstrate the technical feasibility of the battery storage system for renewable energy (RE).
“Energy generated through the wind-solar hybrid plant would be backed up in the batteries and will be used by the Metro during evening peak hours. Though the battery-backed solar plants are used in small scale, this will be the first-of-its-kind in the megawatt scale project in the state,” the official said, adding that it was TEDA’s demonstrative wind farm in Kayathar in the 1980s which attracted huge investment in the wind mills in the State.
The official added that a 75-acre land in Kayathar, Thoothukudi that is owned by TEDA would be its equity contribution, while CMRL and SECI would contribute the cost of the project as per their share in the JV agreement.
The power produced from the project would be sold to CMRL at a price mutually agreed between the JV partners, and the profits would be distributed as per equity of each partner in the JV.
Two years ago, CMRL had planned to procure renewable energy to meet 80 per cent of its power requirement through RE power at a cost cap of Rs 3.5 per unit. At present, Tangedco is charging CMRL Rs 6.35 per unit for the Railway traction consumption, while other loads like ATM kiosks, stalls and hotels in the Metro premises are being charged Rs 8 per unit.
“When energy could be procured at a cheaper rate, it makes sense to lose the opportunity. Moreover, CMRL is facing financial burden considering the higher tariff paid by it as against Rs 3 per unit envisaged during the detailed project report based on which load schedule was worked out,” CMRL sources said.