World’s largest coal mining company – Coal India Limited – has announced a major step towards implementation of its ambitious solar power goals.
According to a communication made by Coal India Limited to the Bombay Stock Exchange, the company has signed agreements with the Solar Energy Corporation of India for implementation of 200 MW solar power projects in the state of Madhya Pradesh. While the details have not yet been revealed, as part of the agreement, SECI will likely call for bids and allocated projects on behalf of Coal India.
As per the disclosure, power generated from the projects shall be acquired by two subsidiaries of Coal India Limited – Northern Coalfields Limited and South Eastern Coalfields Limited. Coal India has estimated that the projects will entail a cost of Rs 650 crore (US$97 million) each. However, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission recently determined the cost of solar PV projects as Rs 5.30 crore/MW (US$7.9 million/MW).
Coal India has set a target to install 1 GW of solar power capacity across India and will invest Rs 7,000 crore (US$1 billion) for achieve the goal. The goal was the result of a directive by the central government to all major public sector companies to take-up solar power targets.
Another coal mining company in India, Neyveli Lignite Corporation, has also set ambitious solar power targets. The company plans set up 4 GW solar power projects across various states including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana and Rajasthan.