Monday, May 27, 2013: In what is being seen as a surprising diversification move, Coal India is mulling over venturing into renewable energy. The company will soon discuss with prospective bidders the technology to be used for setting up solar power plants.
The world’s largest miner of non-renewable energy is planning to come up with solar power projects across India, the first of which would be set up at Sambalpur in Odisha. According to a report by DNA, the power plant would be of 2 mw capacity initially. It will be using crystalline solar photovoltaic panels in a modular form, which can be scaled up to have the requisite system to generate and export power to the main grid.
“India has an abundance of sunshine and the trend of depletion of fossil fuels is compelling energy planners to examine the feasibility of using renewable sources of energy like solar, wind, and so on,” Coal India’s bid document said.
The new and renewable energy ministry recently made the announcement about the new tariff-based incentives for solar photovoltaic-based power generation. This is being seen as another reason why Coal India is planning to get into solar power.
If all goes as planned, Coal India will also install solar photovoltaic panels at Ranchi where its mining research arm, the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute, is located. With this project, the company aims to reduce its own energy bills.