Coal India (CIL) will set up 14 rooftop and ground-mounted solar power projects of 3,000 MW (3 GW) capacity worth Rs 5,650 crore by 2023-24. This is part of its goal to become a net-zero carbon company, it told the exchanges on November 23.
Of the Rs 5,650 crore investment, Rs 3,650 crore is planned from CIL’s capex till 2023-24, while the rest will be funded through joint venture models under the initiative – for example, CIL and NLC India have together floated Coal Lignite Urja Vikas, a JV with NTPC and MoU with SECI for 1 GW solar projects each. Progress for these are being worked out individually, it said.
As a public sector utility (PSU), Coal India is obligated to become a net-zero company by the Coal Ministry.
The initiative also helps CIL reduce its annual power bill, which was around Rs 3,400 crore ending FY20, accounting for around 4.4 percent of its yearly revenue expense. “Any saving under the power bill would also bolster the bottom line of the company to that extent,” the PSU said.
Beginning with a modest 10 MW solar capacity during the ongoing fiscal, CIL would gradually peak up to 1,340 MW in 2023-24. For FY2023, solar power capacity addition is targeted at 1,293 MW, with 220 MW capacity to come up in 2021-22.
Besides establishing solar projects, CIL is 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 FY2024.
CIL's subsidiaries have already identified 1,156 acres of land between them where they will set up 220 MW solar projects by the end of FY2022. 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.
Solar power generation has already been commissioned by CIL and its subsidiaries which generated 4.6 million units in 2019-20 and 4.25 million units in 2018-19.
"This amounts to a reduction of over 3,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. One million units of solar power generation bring down Co2 emissions by a little over 700 tonnes," it said.(With inputs from PTI)