India to begin work on $8m renewable grid upgrade

India is to begin construction work this year on an $8bn grid stabilization project.

The Green Energy Corridor project aims to strengthen transmission infrastructure in eight states in order to absorb what analysts predict will be a more than 50 per cent rise in renewable power coming onto the grid in the next eight years – from around 32 GW at present to over 72 GW by 2022.

The project was set up last year by India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), with an agreement signed between MNRE and the kfW German development bank in April 2013. The bank is to lend an initial $334m for the project, with the option to raise that amount to $1bn.  

State-owned utility Power Grid Corp of India Ltd has now invited bids for the work, which will begin in the states of Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.

In addition to smoothing out the intermittent input from renewable energy sources, the project aims to help transfer power between high-renewables and low-renewables states. Its goals include enlarging the power balancing area, reactive compensation, establishment of renewable energy management centres containing advanced forecasting tools, and setting up of fibre optic communications for real-time monitoring and control.

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