A project billed as India’s first green hydrogen storage initiative will tap floating solar in a first step to plans for large-scale deployments across the nation, said power giant NTPC.
India’s biggest power group will build a microgrid linking output from a floating solar array to a 240kW electrolyser, with hydrogen produced stored in tanks and used in a fuel cell to generate power for one of NTPC’s own corporate guest houses at the site in Simhadri, Andhra Pradesh.
The 25MW floating solar plant that will power the green hydrogen-based local network was commissioned by NTPC earlier in 2021.
NTPC said the project, which is due in service next year and backed by the Indian government, will be the first storage initiative of its kind in the country and designed to lay the ground for bigger projects, including microgrids that could replace diesel generation in remote off-grid locations and island communities.
The addition of storage will allow the Simhadri microgrid to operate around the clock, said US-based Bloom Energy, which is supplying the solid oxide electrolyser and fuel cell.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made green hydrogen production a centrepiece of the nation’s energy transition plans, especially given its potential to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels and help achieve its net zero goal for 2070.
NTPC – whose 68GW generation base is dominated by coal – has started a push into renewables that includes plans to produce green hydrogen at a solar complex of almost 5GW in the state of Gujarat.