NLC India Limited, a coal mining and power generation company in India, has taken perhaps its largest set towards a greener and sustainable future after successfully participating in one of the largest solar power auctions in the country.

NLC India, formerly Neyveli Lignite Corporation, recently secured rights to develop 709 megawatts of solar power capacity in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The company shall receive Rs 3.47/kWh (5.4¢/kWh) as tariff, likely under a long-term power purchase agreement spanning 25 years.

NLC India had offered to build the entire 1.5 gigawatts of solar power capacity offered in the tender by Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) at a tariff of Rs 3.97/kWh (6.1¢/kWh). The company agreed to match the lowest tariff offered in the auction and will now develop 709 megawatts.

Participation in the tender is part of NLC’s overall strategy to move towards a sustainable energy future with reduce share of lignite mining and coal-based power generation. The company plans an investment of Rs 17,400 crore ($2.7 billion) to set up 4.2 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity. This includes around 4,000 megawatts of solar power and 200 megawatts of wind energy capacity.

The company plans to set up 995 megawatts solar power capacity each in the states of Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. Projects in the both the states are expected to be commissioned in 2019.

NLC India has floated a tender to set up 500 megawatts solar power capacity in Tamil Nadu in December 2016. Details of result of this tender are scarce but Gamesa was reported to have had quoted the lowest bid for 100 megawatts capacity.

In August last year, the company announced that it started construction of a 65 megawatt solar power project at Neyveli in Tamil Nadu. The project has long-term power purchase agreement with TANGEDCO.

Image by vectoropenstock.com for Cleantechies

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