Daily News Wrap-Up: NTPC Tenders for 2 GW Pumped Hydro Storage Projects

Module makers to standardize dimensions for rectangular silicon wafer modules

July 14, 2023


NTPC Renewable Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NTPC, has invited bids for developing pumped hydro energy storage projects of up to 2,000 MW capacity across India. The last date to submit the bids is August 16, 2023. Bids will be opened on the same day. The project must be commissioned within five years from the award, including 1.5-2 years for the detailed project report, land acquisition, studies, and detailed engineering, and 3-3.5 years of construction.

In a significant move to address challenges in solar module manufacturing, nine leading manufacturers have agreed on the standard dimensions for rectangular silicon wafer modules. The new standards are expected to help increase module power, optimize container utilization, and reduce system costs while tackling issues related to supply chain disruptions, material wastage, and customer system design complexities.

Himachal Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission has allowed Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board (HPSEBL) to meet its wind power purchase obligation (Wind RPO) with surplus hydropower generated in the state. The Commission approved the HPSEBL’s overall compliance for Wind RPO, hydro purchase obligation, and other renewable purchase obligations for the financial year 2022-23.

NTPC Renewable Energy has invited bids for the engineering, procurement, and construction of 200 MW solar power projects at the Khavda Renewable Energy Park in Gujarat. The scope of the work includes design, engineering, manufacturing, supply, packing and forwarding, transportation, uploading storage, installation, testing, and commissioning of the solar project, including the supply of solar modules. The last date for the submission of bids is August 9, 2023. Bids will open on the same day.

Wind energy projects which were first off the blocks even before solar in India have considerably slowed down in recent years with higher tariffs, supply chain bottlenecks, dwindling investments, and a drop in off-takers. India’s wind installations by the end of the first quarter of 2023 stood at 42.6 GW, compared to solar, which stood at 64.5 GW. If India wants to meet its goal of achieving 500 GW of clean power capacity by 2030, wind energy will have to play a crucial role.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) Group has approved raising the funding volume for clean energy projects developed under the European Union’s (EU) REPowerEU plan and Green Deal Industrial Plan by 50% to €45 billion (~$50.28 billion). The added financing is expected to support the EU’s clean energy targets and manufacturing capacity for strategic net zero technologies and products. It would also support the extraction, processing, and recycling of critical raw materials.

The Federal Network Agency of Germany (Bundesnetzagentur) has announced the auction results for 7,000 MW of offshore wind sites located in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The lowest price discovered in the auction was €1.56 million (~$1.74 million)/MW. The proceeds from the auction came to around €12.6 billion (~$14.03 billion).

China’s energy storage installations grew 110% in 2022 to 8.7 GW, according to Polaris Solar Photovoltaic Network. The newly commissioned photovoltaic energy storage projects in 2022 totaled 2,204 MW/4,520 MWh. North China accounted for 28.6% of the new energy storage capacity, followed by Northwest China at 26.6%, Central China at 16.1%, East China at 14.7%, South China at 9.4%, Southwest China at 9.4%, and the Northeast region at 1.9%.

Italy-headquartered Enel, along with its Chilean subsidiary, has recently entered into an agreement to sell a 416 MW portfolio of solar photovoltaic power projects in Chile to Sonnedix, a renewable energy producer, for $550 million. These projects are owned by Arcadia Generacion Solar. The portfolio includes the following solar photovoltaic projects, Diego de Almagro (36 MW), Carrera Pinto (97 MW), Pampa Solar Norte (79 MW), and Domeyko (204 MW). Together, these projects generate an estimated net energy of 1 TWh/year.

The expansion of the free market is expected to be a major driving force behind the growth of onshore wind energy in South America over the next decade, according to a recent analysis by Wood Mackenzie. The analysis predicts that the total onshore wind market in the region will add approximately 41.2 GW of projects by 2032. This substantial activity is projected to result in a cumulative capacity of 75 GW by 2032, a significant increase of 122% from the 34 GW recorded at the end of 2022.

Researchers from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have discovered that a widely used food and medicine additive can significantly enhance the capacity and longevity of a next-generation flow battery design. The study, recently published in the journal Joule, introduces the successful integration of a novel additive called β-cyclodextrin, which is a dissolved simple sugar derived from starch, to optimize the performance of flow batteries.