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India’s Greenko and Serentica in pumped hydro-enabled 1.5GWh renewable energy deal

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Developer Serentica Renewables has signed an offtake deal for 1.5GWh of pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) in two Indian states with its counterpart Greenko Group.

Claiming it to be a “first-of-its-kind” contract for capacity from standalone energy storage facilities, PHES plants in Andra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh will be used by Serentica Renewables to offer dispatchable renewable energy to industrial electricity customers.

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The renewables developer is focused on the commercial and industrial (C&I) segment, providing low carbon energy solutions for energy intensive industries where abating emissions is challenging. Founded in 2022, it has attracted US$650 million in investment commitments from global investment group KKR and is working on a 4GW portfolio of renewable energy projects.

Earlier this month Serentica announced 1.25GW of renewable energy supply deals with unnamed “multiple industrial customers”, adding to 580MW of contracts already signed.

Meanwhile Greenko Group has an installed base of more than 7.3GW of solar, wind and hydroelectric renewables projects of its own, and is active in 15 states in India. It is developing a targeted 50GWh of PHES around the country to be added to its “Energy Storage Cloud Platform”.

Greenko directly contracts with corporate offtakers like metals company ArcellorMittal and infrastructure conglomerate Adani, and last year won a tender with Indian state-owned power producer NTPC with a bid costed at the equivalent of US$58/MWh for a once daily-cycled 500MW/3,000MWh PHES plant, claiming the cost goes down to as low as US$29/MWh for applications requiring more than one cycle per day.  

Greenko and Serentica first signalled their intent to create a joint offering of 24/7 round-the-clock (RTC) renewable energy a few months ago, leveraging energy storage specialist Greenko’s new-build pumped hydro plants and Serentica’s wind power and solar PV assets. As reported by Energy-Storage.news, an agreement was signed in November 2022.

Earlier this week (10 July), Serentica Renewables said it will be able to offer customers a guarantee of more than 95% renewable energy supplied, with an assurance of 85% per 15-minute block of time, enabled by the two plants’ 6-hour duration storage resources.

Serentica is a subsidiary of UK-Indian mining group Vedanta Resources through Twinstar Overseas, a Verdanta subsidiary which also owns India-focused power transmission developer Sterlite Power.

Expected commissioning dates for the closed loop PHES in Pinnapuram, Andra Pradesh and Gandhi Sagyar, Madha Pradesh were not mentioned in the release from Serentica.

At this week’s Energy Storage Summit Asia 2023, hosted in Singapore by our published Solar Media, the concept of RTC renewable energy contracts, particularly for industrial customers in India, was a frequently-referred to topic by speakers and attendees.

Some developments in that space reported by Energy-Storage.news in recent months include tenders from NTPC’s renewables and energy trading subsidiaries and the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and a US$1 billion financing for RTC projects by developer ReNew Power, claimed to be the largest deal of its type in the space to date.

While much of the interest in RTC deal has been for PHES-enabled offerings, ReNew Power’s was focused on a mix of renewable energy backed by battery energy storage system (BESS) technologies. Meanwhile according to various media reports NTPC Renewable Energy has just launched a new 2GWh tender for pumped hydro projects.

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