The envisaged idea will enhance the evacuation of renewable energy, says Sanjeev Aggarwal, Managing Director and CEO, Amplus Energy Solutions.
How effectively does the green corridor address the evacuation issues faced by the renewable energy segment?
One of the key drivers to support the renewable energy scale up in the country is an efficient and robust evacuation mechanism/ grid infrastructure. The amount of renewable energy (RE) generation capacity coming online would prove beneficial only if it has an accessible, reliable and healthy transmission infrastructure to support the huge capacity infusion. And, this is the basic premise of the Green Energy Corridor (GEC). It would strengthen the inter- and intra-state transmission system to accommodate the increasing intermittent generation from RE, thereby making RE accessible throughout the country.
Though named green corridor, it will evacuate or be used for transmission of all other forms of energy as well. How will the renewable segment benefit from this?
A Green Energy Corridor would benefit the RE industry in the following ways:
Enable RE flow into the national grid network.
Act as a dedicated transmission network for RE across different RE potential states.
Facilitate evacuation from solar parks and large-scale grid connected solar and wind projects.
Boost inter-state sale of RE thereby helping states fulfill their renewable purchase obligations (RPOs).
The work of the corridor began in May 2017. How do you see the progress and do you see it coming on track well-in-time?
The Green Energy Corridor is expected to come online by March 2020 with the first phase of inter-state transmission network completed by the end of 2018.
A total of 8,500 ckt-kms of transmission lines is to be installed by 2020 with an approx. investment of Rs 380 billion. Out of this, 350 ckt-kms has been installed in 2017-18, 1,900 ckt-kms is to come up in 2018-19 and remaining 5,500 ckt-kms of lines is to be installed in 2019-20. Although a lot of progress has been made and funds have been allocated for 2018-19 as well, there is a mismatch between this year's goal and the corresponding funds allocated. Also, the progress made so far and the huge capacity target ahead might shift the deadline further away.
What's your take on the challenges in renewable energy evacuation issues (both solar and wind)?
Given the intermittent and variable nature of renewable energy and the increasing share of renewables in the energy mix, a state of the art reliable grid infrastructure for power evacuation is necessary to handle the capacity influx. And, this integration would become even more important with the huge RE capacity addition planned by the central government (175 GW of RE by 2022). Hence, there is a dire need to step up the power transmission network in the country by stabilising or strengthening the existing grid infrastructure and simultaneously developing transmission facilities to accommodate the upcoming large-scale RE capacities.
Having said that, small-scale solar or decentralised (rooftop) solar plants do not face evacuation issues because the point of generation and consumption are in the vicinity. Hence, decentralised generation using solar must be promoted and a focused approach to scale up their deployment would help reduce dependency on the transmission system.
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