The Andaman & Nicobar Islands, known for its legendary beaches and world class diving will soon have something else to boast of -the country's first city-scale battery storage solar power plants.
India's largest generation utility NTPC will set up two solar storage plants with a total capacity of 25 MW in the main island of Port Blair as part of the Centre's bid to rid the place of polluting diesel generators, its main source of power at present. The size of the storage solar power plants will open a new avenue for bringing 24x7 power supply to remote locations, a key promise made by the Narendra Modi government. At present, some remote villages in Ladakh and certain hill states have storage solar power plants but they are miniscule in comparison with capacities ranging between 11 kW (kilo watt) and 125 kW .
The Centre, through the ministry of new and renewable energy , will meet 40% of the cost through grant meant for special areas. The ministry has asked NTPC to set up a total of 50 mw solar storage capacity in phases.
The project is estimated to be completed by June 2018 or so, with a 15-month completion schedule.