Indian utility seeks electrolyzer pilot projects

From pv magazine India

State-owned NTPC Limited, India’s largest power generator, is seeking expressions of interest (EoI) to set up hydrogen-based fuel cell systems to provide back-up power and be used in microgrid applications. The EoI documents explain a separate project is envisioned for each application with the hydrogen to be produced by an electrolyzer.

Under the project, NTPC would install the hydrogen-based fuel cell-electrolyzers as pilots with a view to rolling out such systems as a green alternative to diesel generation.

In one pilot project, NTPC aims to replace around 500-1,000 kW of diesel generator capacity which provides back-up power for its offices in Noida, with an electrolyzer. The project includes an on-site electrolyzer to produce the hydrogen needed.

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In the other scheme, the power company would set up a 50 kW electrolyzer-fuel-cell-based microgrid at one of its guest houses at NTPC Simhadri, in Visakhapatnam in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The electrolyzer would generate the sustainable fuel during the day and provide electricity at night, via the fuel cell.

“There are multiple possible fuel cell and electrolyzer technologies to create back-up power and [a] microgrid solution,” stated the EoI document. “The responses shall be evaluated regarding various factors, with the key[s] being, expertise of the applicant, technology, capital cost, efficiency, reliability, maintenance challenges, and [the proposed] contribution to capital investment. The interested applicants will specify the technical specification [and] the total estimated project cost, and shall propose the financial contribution to be shared by themselves and by NTPC.”

The document continued: “NTPC would implement the project either on [a] nomination basis or through [a] request for proposal (RFP) process amongst the shortlisted parties identified through this EoI process. The intellectual property generated from the pilot projects (a first-of-its-kind in India) will be co-owned by NTPC and the applicant. The same, may be monetized separately during the commercialization of the technologies.”

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