Successful minimum load tests in Dadri NTPC power plant (India)
As part of the Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF), the VGB is working together with German and Indian partners to demonstrate the technical feasibility of the flexible operation of Indian coal-fired power plants. The work is supervised by the IGEF task force Flexibility, headed by the Director Operations at NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation), and is supported by the Excellence Enhancement Centre (EEC). Indian task force members are NTPC, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the network operator POSOCO (Power System Operation Corporation Ltd.) and BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd.). The EEC – VGB’s partner organization in India – also coordinates the project, which is accompanied on the German side by the VGB, by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) as well as by Siemens and Steag Energy Services.
40 percent minimum load achieved during the test runs
In June, a team of experts from EEC, Siemens and VGB carried out test runs in block 6 of the NTPC Dadri power plant jointly with the local operations team. The tests were aimed at demonstrating the operation of the 500 MW block with a minimum load of 40 percent. The team succeeded in doing this – the block could safely be operated for five hours with a load of 200 MW.
In the course of further tests, the test team was also able to drive load ramps of 5 MW / min and 15 MW / min successfully in the range of 200 to 500 MW. These results confirm the findings of a preliminary study for the Dadri and Simhadri NTPC power plants. This preliminary study derives three flexibility scenarios targeting a minimum load of 50 percent, 40 percent and 25 percent.
The team was able to personally inform the NTPC management in New Delhi about the encouraging results of the test runs. The highlight was a meeting with the Chairman and Managing Director of NTPC, Mr. Gundeep Singh, who was also very pleased with the results. As a next step, the EEC / Siemens / VGB team will prepare an implementation plan that outlines and explains the actions needed to ensure safe and reliable operation at 40 percent load. The Indian partners are interested in a quick implementation of these measures, because the flexible operation of the coal-fired power plants is an important precursor for the integration of variable renewable energies. By 2022, the installed capacity of renewable energy in India is expected to increase from 45 GW (as of today) to 175 GW – the current total installed capacity is 334 GW.