Coal India to set up 3000 MW solar power projects by FY 24

Coal India Limited (CIL) has announced its plan to set up 14 rooftop and ground-mounted solar power projects of 3,000 megawatt (MW) capacity by financial year 2023-24 (FY24) at an investment of about Rs 5,650 crores.

INR 3,650 crore would be invested through CIL’s capex till 2023-24, the rest would be met through joint venture (JV) models that it intends to pursue for this initiative.

CIL has been mandated by the Ministry of Coal to become a net-zero company and solar power initiative is a part of CIL’s diversification plans.

The company has a JV with NLC India named Coal Lignite Urja Vikas Private Limited which was floated on 10 November this year to develop 1,000 MW solar power projects. It also has a JV with NTPC and an MoU with the Solar Energy Corporation of India for solar projects of 1,000 MW each, the progress of which is being worked out individually.

“The solar power initiative helps CIL reduce its annual power consumption expense, which was around Rs 3,400 crores ending FY20, accounting for around 4.4 per cent of the revenue expense for the year. Any saving under the power bill would also bolster the bottom line of the company to that extent,” it said in the press release.

It added that CIL would gradually peak up to 1,340 MW in 2023-24, while for FY23 solar power capacity addition is targeted at 1,293 MW, with 220 MW capacity to come up in 2021-22.

“CIL is also in discussions with NTPC for purchase of 140 MW solar power under the Centre’s CPSE Scheme. Cumulatively, it adds up to little over 3,000 MW by FY24,” it added.

CIL’s subsidiaries have already identified 1,156 acres of land between them where they would set up 220 MW solar projects by end of FY22.

“For 2022-23 and 2023-24 CIL is eyeing to set up solar projects on pan-India basis subject to power evacuation facility by central transmission utility,” it said.

Solar power generation by CIL and its subsidiaries stood at 4.6 million units in FY20 and 4.25 million units in FY19, which amounted to a reduction of over 3,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in each year, according to the firm.

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