Torrent Power, a private-sector integrated utility in India, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Maharashtra to develop three pumped storage hydro projects aggregating to 5.7 GW capacity in the State of Maharashtra. The projects would entail an estimated investment of INR 27,000 crore (around $3.27 billion) and provide employment to around 13,500 people during construction.
Torrent intends to execute these projects over a period of five years. The projects would be executed at three sites identified by Torrent, namely, Karjat (3 GW) in the Raigarh district, Maval (1.2 GW), and Junnar (1.5 GW) in the Pune district. All the sites are off-stream, and the projects are planned to provide a minimum of six hours of energy storage daily.
The increasing share of renewable power in the grid necessitates energy storage for load management and meeting peak demand. Pumped storage hydro is an established, proven, and cost-effective technology for firm, flexible, and dispatchable power. It involves a configuration of two water reservoirs at different elevations. Water is pumped to the upper reservoir during excess power when it is the cheapest. At the time of demand when power is expensive, water flow from the upper reservoir to the lower reservoir generates power with a hydraulic turbine.
PSH is a much superior solution than batteries for energy storage as it is cheaper, has a longer life of 40 years, and provides longer duration storage of 6 to 10 hours with the feasibility of multiple cycle operations during the day.
Torrent Power, with a turnover of around $3 billion, is one of the largest companies in the Indian power sector, with a presence across the entire power value chain of generation, transmission, and distribution.
Torrent Power currently has an aggregate installed generation capacity of 4.1 GW, mainly consisting of gas (2.7 GW) and renewables (1.07 GW). It also has a renewable capacity of 0.7 GW under development. To complement its growing portfolio of renewables and distribution, Torrent is strategically entering the storage space.
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