A new technology called energy storage could make it possible to store and deliver power at a fraction of the cost of traditional batteries, with India’s National Thermal Power Corporation, or NTPC, hoping to do so as soon as 2020.
The NTPC is building a $3 billion nuclear power plant in the eastern state of Gujarat to supply power to the Indian capital.
It has installed more than 700 megawatts of batteries, including two of them in a 1,300-kilometre (620-mile) stretch of the Bhabha Atomic Power Plant, near Ahmedabad.
The NTPC also has a 600-megawatt solar power plant at Rajkot that will supply power for about 150,000 homes and offices in the capital.
India’s national grid is already in place, but NTPC hopes that its batteries can reduce its dependence on diesel-powered generators and generate power at lower cost than traditional batteries.
The company has also installed a 3,500-kilowatt (3,800-megajoule) nuclear power station in Gujarat, the world’s fourth largest.
The company has made the battery-powered reactors and the power-generation capacity of these plants in Gujarat its flagship product.
A power-hungry electricity grid, however, is also a key target for NTPC.
It is also trying to build a 100-megavolt nuclear power facility at the Rajkota Nuclear Power Plant in Rajasthan, the country’s second-biggest nuclear power producer.
The government has promised to build the new nuclear plant within a year, but the project has not yet been approved by the Nuclear Regulation Authority, India’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The Nuclear Regulatory Authority has not given a timeline for the plant’s construction, either.
NTPC has also set a target to build three nuclear power plants by 2020, but has not specified which of the projects it is building.
It has already secured contracts to build four new power plants and three large reactors.NTPC is also developing a battery-based electric vehicle, or EV, which it says will cost between $1 and $1.2 billion.
It hopes to sell it by the end of 2020.