Over the last decade, renewable electricity (RE) generation, mostly from wind and solar, has displaced coal-based generation as the cheapest source of electricity in generation cost terms. It is also desirable to add as much renewables as the system can absorb, for ecological reasons. As the share of RE increases in India’s energy mix, a closer look at its impact at the state level is needed to understand the implications for power procurement planning and grid operation.

This production cost study investigates whether it is feasible to reliably meet Maharashtra's power demand with no net coal capacity addition. This is done by analysing two sets of scenarios for 2030 - one with 30% RE generation share and additional coal capacity, and the other with 50% RE and battery storage. The analysis was done using GridPath, an open source modelling platform, as well as PLEXOS, a commercial power system simulation software.

Without considering transmission constraints, the study finds that it is possible to reliably and cost-effectively meet demand in 2030 with 'no net addition to the coal fleet' and with 50% energy contribution from RE, while coal plants are operating within currently acceptable technical limits. Some interesting insights emerge from the study, that can help navigate the unfolding transition. These insights along with detailed operational analysis are presented in the attached report.

The GridPath model used for this study is available at https://github.com/prayas-energy/gridpath-mh.