In what would be a milestone event for the renewable energy industry, eleven ‘Renewable Energy Management Centres’ (REMC) are to be inaugurated on Friday by Union Power Minister RK Singh.

These REMCs, built at a cost of ₹409 crore, will make it possible for the country to have more of renewable energy, particularly wind. Without these, absorption of large packets of intermittent electricity from wind and solar plants would not be possible.

Public sector major Power Grid Corporation of India is overseeing the setting up of these REMCs on behalf of the Ministry of Power. One REMC will come up in the National Load Dispatch Centre, three in as many Regional Load Dispatch Centres and seven in the State Load Dispatch Centres of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Load dispatch centres are like the control room that oversees how much and where the electricity is coming from and whom it should go to. REMCs are a unit of load dispatch centres that keep an eye on renewable energy plants. These centres will essentially perform three functions: forecasting of renewable energy from each plant; scheduling of renewable energy to customers; and tracking of generation from the RE plants.

The problem with wind and solar energy is its intermittency. Energy flows when wind blows and stops when wind stops; likewise, when a cloud passes over the sun, electricity from the solar plants dips. This ebb-and-tide of power through the cables is a headache for the grid manager who has to keep a steady supply of electricity at the consumers’ end.

REMC is a “hub for all information regarding renewable energy power generation”, which would have a “dedicated team for managing forecast RE generation, dispatch and real-time monitoring to ensure safe, secure and optimal operation of the grid”, says a document of the German government’s international cooperation arm, GIZ.

The REMCs have been in the making for long. They were conceptualised as far back as 2014 when India had a renewable energy capacity of around 30 GW. Today, the country has 71,643 MW of wind and solar capacity, and there is more to come in the coming years, which would not be possible without the REMCs.