Part of ACC battery PLI sops may go to supporting renewable energy

New Delhi: The Centre may earmark half of the incentives it plans to offer to bidders under the advanced chemistry cell (ACC) performance-linked incentive (PLI) programme to support manufacturing of grid energy storage batteries, said officials.

They said 10 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of the 20 GWh ACC battery PLI incentives being rebid will be for electric vehicles (EVs), while the rest will be for supplementing renewable energy capacity addition.

“Lithium batteries have two primary applications – EVs and electricity storage. We can stipulate conditions that mandate making batteries for meeting the requirement of the electricity grid,” said a senior government official, who did not wish to be identified.

It is estimated that India needs 120 GWh of battery storage by 2030 to support 500 GW renewable capacity addition.

Incentives worth Rs 7,240 crore are slated to be offered under the current leg of auctions for setting up 20 GWh of ACC battery manufacturing capacity. Public consultation on this issue took place in July. These sops are part of an Rs 18,100 crore PLI scheme for the sector.

The ACC PLI programme is presently being speared by the Ministry of Heavy Industries. Deliberations are also underway within the government to cede administration for some of the battery PLI supports to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.Last year, the Ministry of Heavy Industries awarded PLI support for setting up 30 GWh of ACC battery manufacturing capacity by 2030. Ola Cell Technologies won the lion’s share with 20 GWh capacity in their kitty. ACC Energy Storage (bid as Rajesh Exports) and Reliance New Energy Battery Storage were awarded incentives for 5 GWh each. The Centre expects PLI incentives will aid in creation of 95 GWh of battery manufacturing capacity by these three players.This is not the first auction for the 20 GWh PLI capacity. Initially, it was allocated to Hyundai Global Motors, a company said to be impersonating South Korean firm Hyundai Motor Co.

Earlier, the Centre expected an investment of Rs 45,000 crore from the four initial PLI beneficiaries, but it was scaled down to Rs 27,000 crore after the Hyundai Global Motors fiasco.

PLI support for making the batteries will be offered to bidders in batches of 5 GWh. Existing PLI beneficiaries can also bid, but the cap of 20 GWh per player will remain in force to prevent any one player from getting a larger share of the incentives on offer. ACCs are a new generation of advanced storage technology, with applications in EVS, maintaining grid stability, solar rooftop and consumer electronics, among others.

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