Indian coal majors to jointly set up 3 GW solar projects


Coal producer Coal India Ltd (CIL) and thermal energy giant NLC India, both under the Ministry of Coal, have signed an agreement to jointly develop 5 GW of solar and thermal power assets across the country.

The two state-owned companies would form a joint venture to develop these power assets. The equity participation in the proposed joint venture company will be in the ratio of 50:50, read a Bombay Stock Exchange filing.

The assets will include 3 GW of solar projects and 2 GW of thermal power projects in India, as per a memorandum of understanding signed between the two companies in October 2018.

The 3 GW solar projects will be installed on “barren and reclaimed free land” owned by CIL, in addition to other suitable sites across the country, CIL stated earlier. It said around 15,000 acres will be required to install the 3 GW, while an investment of Rs 12,000 crore is anticipated.

Significantly, CIL has taken steps for the installation of 3 GW solar capacity as it aims to become a ‘net zero company’ under its climate mitigation commitment. 

In October 2018 the company aligned itself as a corporate partner of International Solar Alliance (ISA), through a contribution of one million US $, a little over Rs 6.75 crore, to ISA’s corpus fund. This also entails it to take advantage of technical know-how in the renewable energy field using ISA’s digital platform while implementing its solar projects.

NLC is already keeping pace with the changing business trends by concentrating on renewable energy. While the producer’s thermal investments in 2018-19 dropped marginally to Rs 4819 crore from Rs 5154 crore in 2017-18, investments in renewables capacity more than doubled to Rs 3172 crore from Rs 1474 crore.

Having touched 1404 MW of renewable capacity as on January 31, 2020, the state-owned producer aims to add further 2847 MW to reach 4251 MW (4 GW from solar and 251 MW wind) by 2025.


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