The clean-energy forward state of India, Andhra Pradesh has become home to world’s first ever thermal battery plant that was inaugurated by the state’s Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu on Monday.

While the world is struggling with exhausting fossil fuels, Andhra Pradesh has emerged with an innovative potential alternative to conventional batteries and energy sources – the thermal battery plant. Owned and developed by Bharat Energy Storage Technology Private Limited (BEST), world’s first-ever thermal battery plant was inaugurated by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday. However, the plant will be operational for commercial use from May 2019.

With an aim to find an alternative to conventional battery technology, the thermal battery plant could be that new energy storage option that can be used commercially and maintain a low carbon footprint. Unlike conventional battery plants, thermal battery facility will also be less depended on external factors like weather and day-night cycle that affects solar batteries. Since these energy storage options are capable of mitigating geographical and physical factors, it can be a potential alternative and can be useful for telecommunication, commercial establishments, electric vehicles and highway charging stations.

The pilot launch of thermal power plant in Andhra Pradesh will test out the potent of the new energy storage option and if successful, BEST plans to spend Rs. 660 crores in developing a Greenfield facility in India. Currently, the capacity of Andhra thermal plant is 1000 megawatts and BEST intends to boost it to 10 gigawatts in the next six to seven years – by 2025. Perhaps this new option could be the next big thing and can replace or at least aid the solar power source, which is prone to pitfalls.