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NTPC eyes mega solar park in Kutch Gujarat

In the current fiscal, NTPC plans to add 5290MW of capacity to its existing 54,326MW

NTPC, Ultra mega solar power park, Kutch, Gujarat, Coal-based power generation, Alternative energy sources, Solar power, Municipal waste-fuelled power, Battery storage, Coal power plants, Gurdeep Singh, Rajasthan, Power purchase agreement, Waste-to-power, Surat Municipal Corporation, Kawas, East Delhi Municipal Corporation

State run-NTPC aims to set up a 5000MW ultra mega solar power park at Kutch in Gujarat with estimated investments of Rs 20,000 crore.

In the current fiscal, NTPC plans to add 5290MW of capacity to its existing 54,326MW. While coal-based power generation would continue to be the company’s primary business, it is expanding presence in alternative energy sources such as solar power, and has plans for municipal waste-fuelled power.

"Battery storage is at an early stage, so we are looking at a different route to manage the solar power plant. We are looking at more flexibility at coal power plants by bringing down our output to 55%," NTPC's chairman and managing director Gurdeep Singh said. "We are working on a plan to back down coal based units, so that if there is higher generation from solar units, we can push that in the grid."

NTPC has identified a location in Kutch to develop 5000MW in phases beginning this fiscal year, and the generator is also exploring Rajasthan for a second such facility. The solar park may be built entirely by NTPC or may involve other power developers.

"We are exploring how much of the solar park output can we sell without a power purchase agreement. There is a line of thinking that if we sold some power on a merchant basis, it can give us better returns," Singh said.

NTPC is also keen to expand into 'waste-to-power' sector, given the opportunity offered by the huge municipal waste generated in the country.

“We are trying our best to contribute to solving the problem of waste in the country. It is a business that can offer 15.5% return on equity,” he said.

The model NTPC seeks to establish is one where the municipal corporation provides the company the waste, and then the corporation buys back the power generated by the unit. The company has already signed a pact with Surat Municipal Corporation to convert waste into electricity at a plant in Kawas. NTPC is also forming a joint venture, where it will hold 74%, with East Delhi Municipal Corporation for a similar project.

“We estimate that we can deliver electricity from these units at Rs 7 per unit,” Singh said.

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