NTPC floats tender for 1,000 MWh of Battery EnergyStorage Systems

Even as India remains on track for achieving its renewable energy generationtargets, the country is now exploring various mechanisms for integrating largeamounts of variable renewable energy in the power grid. In this context, Grid-scaleBattery Energy Storage Systems ( BESSs ) has been a subject of intensive debate inthe country's energy narrative for some time now.

Two recent developments in this regard are noteworthy:

  • NTPC Ltd., a large Government of India ( GoI ) Public Sector Undertaking ( PSU ),announced its intention to set up 1,000 MWh of grid-scale BESSs acrossmultiple NTPC power plants in India. It has invited Expression of Interest (EoI)from Indian and global companies to set up these systems and expects to seekgrid-scale BESS at select power stations of NTPC that will be identified inconsultation with the Power System Operation Corporation ( POSOCO ) and theMinistry of Power, Government of India.
  • The Ministry of Power announced a waiver of Inter-State Transmission Chargeson energy supplied to or from BESS projects commissioned before June 2025, ifat least 70% of the charging requirement is met through renewable sources.

Chinese firms can bid for public projects!

  • GoI has allowed domestic companies to partner with Chinese firms by way oftechnology transfer agreements to bid for public projects.
  • In July 2020, as a fallout of the border tensions, the Government had amendedits General Financial Rules, stating that bidders from any country sharing a landborder with India need to first register with a Competent Authority to beeligible to enter into Government contracts. However, India had also made aprovision of exemption for bidders from countries where the country isalready working on development projects. In this context, a Chinese firm wasawarded a contract worth INR 1,150 crore (USD 156 million) for the ADB-funded Delhi-Meerut rail tunnel even as certain diplomatic issues between thetwo countries continued. Similarly, another Chinese firm has been allowed tocommence and continue construction of an INR 13,300 crore (USD 1.8 billion)EPC plant as a Lump Sum Turnkey ( LSTK ) Contract.
  • The EoI and Request for Proposals ( RfP) for undertaking project(s) at NTPCplants shall be invited separately. In order to participate in the bidding process,the bidder should be a battery energy storage manufacturer and should havemanufactured and supplied batteries for grid-connected BESS of cumulativecapacity of 5 MW/5 MWh or higher, a condition which is rather easy to fulfill.
  • Chinese firms will need security clearance for participation in governmenttenders.
  • The bidders who have beneficial ownership in countries which share landborders with India and intend to participate in public procurement in India, maysubmit applications for registration in the format issued by the Department forPromotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Government of India ( DPIIT ).
  • Besides seeking security clearance, the format seeks details of beneficialownership, the manufacturer, the item, financial details for the last five years'financials and details of contracts received in the last five years in India.

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