GreenPowerMonitor, a DNV company, provides integrated solutions for India’s first hybrid solar and storage powered town

Source: press release, 25 May 2022

Modhera is now a completely solar-powered town, with a 6-MWp photovoltaic system and batteries supplying 24/7 electric power
Modhera is now a completely solar-powered town, with a 6-MWp photovoltaic system and batteries supplying 24/7 electric power (photo: GreenPowerMonitor)

GreenPowerMonitor (GPM), a DNV company, the data-driven digital solution provider for renewable energy plants, has provided the integrated onsite control, monitoring, data management and display solutions for the 6-MWp solar photovoltaic system (solar PV) and 15-MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) hybrid project deployed at the town of Modhera, Mehsana District, in the State of Gujarat, India.

This hybrid project is the first of its kind in the country: the village of Modhera and its 1,400 households will be supplied 24/7 with solar energy, materialising the vision of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to symbolically make Modhera – home of the Sun Temple, a protected archaeological Hindu complex dedicated to the solar deity Surya – self-reliant thanks to sustainable solar power.

“This was a very prestigious project for Mahindra Susten, and we acknowledge major contribution by GPM in successfully delivering it,” says Pramod Kalyanshetty, Head Procurement and Chief Risk Officer at Mahindra Susten, the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor for this project of national importance.

The implemented GPM’s Power Plant Controller (GPM PPC) and Energy Management System (EMS) solutions have showcased their flexibility in hardware design and software configuration to implement complex functions and a high-level customised control philosophy in this project.

Specifically, GPM PPC and EMS are the master controllers enabling the project’s different automatic and manual controls. This architecture has really pushed the boundaries of complex controls in a renewable energy site, allowing the following: black start, islanding, anti-islanding, energy shifting, state of charge (SOC) management and balancing, as well as frequency and voltage support.

Additionally, the following systems are also integrated and monitored into the GPM solution provided:

  • 271 x 1-kW Rooftop Solar System on the residential building in Modera with API (application programming interface).
  • 1,610 smart meters.
  • Electric Vehicle charging Station.
  • 3rd party system.

India recently conducted massive electrification projects, with national schemes deployed between 2015 and 2019, aimed at providing round the clock power to rural households and adequate power to agricultural consumers for the first, and at achieving universal household electrification focusing on disenfranchised areas. 2019 saw the announcement of the schemes’ success, with all villages connected to the national power grid.

Unlike the energy sources that are currently the most used in developing countries, which use some form of combustion or other, photovoltaic technology allows for the local creation of value without ever depleting the resources it exploits or generating continued harmful secondary pollution.

“Solar PV is a great way for India and other countries to move beyond fossil fuels and meet their emission trajectory goals. Once the technology truly scales up, there is no limit to the amount of clean energy that can be distributed through solar power, and we are starting to see its life-changing potential with projects like the Modhera Sun village electrification,” says Juan Carlos Arévalo, Chief Executive Officer at GreenPowerMonitor, a DNV company.

“Distributed solar energy is an instrument of energy justice: setting up the infrastructure to exploit this local, renewable – and, in India, almost continuously available – resource increases the economic agency of underserved communities and opens up the potential for the equitable distribution of the benefits of clean energy: connection, job creation, reduced household burden, improved health and quality of life, and all-in-all, better community resilience,” continues Arévalo.

For India to attain the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goal of providing universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services, last mile connectivity and quality of access to a 24/7 power source remain a challenge, and as electrification continues to progress, many more solar PV and solar hybrid projects should ensue.