The importance of energy storage in mitigating the inherent intermittency of renewable energy (RE) is well documented. Despite being one of the key storage technologies, pumped hydro has not gained much traction in India until very recently. With this tender of 2 GW, the National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC’s) RE wing aims to carry out an in-depth exploring pumped hydro as an energy storage solution.
Pumped hydro is capital-intensive and has environmental implications. Additionally, construction takes several years to complete, many of which are spent on assessments, studies, land acquisition, and planning. In that context, it is susceptible to regulatory vagaries and cost overruns. It will be important to see how regulatory and clearance issues are handled and environmental considerations accounted for and how long it takes for the project to be completed.