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Mr. Samir Sharan, CEO, ACME, ACME

05 May 2016

India needs energy storage solutions to utilise its renewable energy resources ACME is a leading company in energy management and innovative solutions for alternate energy sector with presence in solar power generation. The company recently installed its first Li-ion based Energy Storage Solution for a leading telecom tower company post successful trials of the solution at various sites across India. In this context, Samir Sharan, CEO, ACME, shares his views with Infraline Plus on the importance of energy storage solutions for India given the ambitious targets set by the government for renewable power.

Energy storage is gaining a lot of importance in India these days given the emphasis placed by the Government on renewable energy. Please share your outlook for this segment in India with respect to opportunities available.

With the growing economy and the increased consumption of electricity at industrial and retail level, there is increased need for the energy storage solutions. At the outset, the demand of the energy storage resources can be bifurcated under two categories i.e. upcoming projects like complementing Renewable Energy plants and existing projects requiring replacement of old storage solutions. With the advent of latest technologies in energy storage space, the latent and upcoming demand for the energy storage solutions can be aptly catered through replacement of Lead-Acid and other solutions with Clean solutions powered by Lithium-ion. The most important aspect of energy storage solutions is the requirement generated from the renewable energy resources that cannot be synced with the cycle of human requirements, be it industrial or residential. To ensure the proper uptake of Solar Power and other renewable energy technologies, energy storage has to play a very important role. With the ambitious target of 175 GW of installed renewable energy projects by 2022, there is obviously an immense pressure to back it up with energy storage in order to ensure the smooth functioning with the grid. Going forward, the scope and requirement of energy storage solutions is going to grow manifold and help the industry in increasing its efficiency as well as increased contribution in bringing down the carbon footprint.

How can India benefit from opting for energy storage solutions?

As shared earlier, the prominent usage of energy storage solutions will be to complement the renewable energy projects. The amalgamation of right kind of energy storage solutions with the RE projects will help them deliver consistent power supply against extraction as per their natural cycle. It will address challenges like frequency regulation, peak load shaving, time shift etc. India has a high potential of renewable energy deployment and it cannot be fully exploited till the extraction and transmission can be done in order to sync the generation and usage. This gap can only be plugged with these projects being complemented with energy storage that will ensure that the energy is utilized most optimally. Over and above, the energy storage solutions will ensure that the upheavals in the transmission of electricity to the grid will be eliminated at the start and end of the charging cycle. Thus, apart from bringing stability to the grid, these solutions are most suitable to help the country optimally utilise it renewable energy resources.

Kindly share details of your newly launched energy storage solutions.

ACME has recently launched its Lithium-ion based energy storage solutions (LIB ESS). The solution is available under the brand name EcoGrid, (5 kVA, 230V Single Phase, Capacity 6.4kWH, Solar Ready), works in UPS model also, high efficiency, better than 93% in-built battery with minimum charging and discharging losses. ACME has also ventured into MW-scale LIB ESS installations and most suitably placed to offer solutions of LIB ESS as per the customers’ requirements.

How is it advantageous in comparison to the present ecosystem with respect to cost and tariff?

ACME solutions are highly advanced and offer higher efficiency, life cycle, return on investment and have lesser carbon footprint. Please find below a table that compares the existing solutions vis-a-vis the LIB ESS.

Energy storage is a recent entrant in India. In this regard, what are the likely challenges for its acceptance?

Any new technology takes time for mass-adoption considering various factors including availability, awareness, cost, replacement cycle amongst many others. The lithium-ion technology in energy storage has been observed in electronic equipments, but its large-scale deployments have witnessed slow uptake due to the some of the reasons listed above. However, we have witnessed immense interest from retail and institutional customers who are willing to adopt of Lithium-ion based energy storage solutions to reap benefits of this new technology.

There are talks of NTPC coming out with a specific criterion on energy storage in its future tenders.

This is going to be the first of its kind in terms of ESS capacity and we look forward to participate in this tender.

How energy storage will help India in achieving its 100 GW target?

As shared earlier, the renewable energy resources do not generate energy as per the requirement cycle of our industries and residential users. To ensure that the adoption of renewable energy resources is taken up at every possible avenue and they are utilized optimally, it is required that they are complemented with Storage. It will help the renewable energy resources align with the grid and utilized in the most efficient manner in areas that are grid connected. It will address challenges like frequency regulation, peak load shaving and time shift etc. And, their best usage will be at places that are not connected with grid at the moment and the energy storage will help them remain lit even in the absence of power generation at the night. Over and above, the clean energy storage solutions will ensure that the hybrid system of generation and storage is completely clean with least carbon footprint. Parameters ACME’s Next Gen ESS VRLA Operating Temp Range -10 to 65 Deg C 20 – 25 Deg C Space Requirement 4.32 sq m Requires 1/5th of space 19.6 sq m Weight 3.4 Ton Equal to 1/7th of VRLA weight 26.2 Ton Calendar Life 12+ years 5 times more life 3Yrs Charging Time 1-3.5 hrs 4 times faster charging 10-12 hours Efficiency 95% 15% more efficient 80-85% Environment Friendliness No Hazardous Material Contains Lead and Acid that are disposed easily. Carbon Foot Print Very Low/ Negligible High