Aditya Aluminium has set up a 24 MW solar power plant in Sambalpur district in Odisha.

The project perfectly fits into the grand scheme of things for the Odisha government

Aditya Aluminium, Aditya Birla Group, Solar power plant, Lapanga, Sambalpur, Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, Aluminium smelting, Captive power projects, Odisha Renewable Policy 2016, Solar purchase obligation, Odisha State, Odisha State Electricity Regulatory Commission, Kailash Pandey, Composite Islanding and Load Management System

Aditya Aluminium, a unit of the metals business of the Aditya Birla Group, has set up a 24MW solar power plant at Lapanga in Sambalpur district in Odisha.

According to the firm, the project perfectly fits into the grand scheme of things for the Odisha government. By 2022, the southern state dreams of installing renewable energy capacity of 2,750 MW, out of which 2,200 MW shall be from solar energy.

The project was inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and is spread across 144 acres of land with an investment of Rs 151 crore. And all the power generated by the plant will be used by Aditya Aluminium in its aluminium smelting process.

As per the company statement, the high-capacity captive power projects in the state have to comply with the Odisha Renewable Policy, 2016 and are required to meet the solar purchase obligation (SPO) as specified by the Odisha State Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC).

This pollution-free green energy certainly has many advantages, but it comes with its own share of challenges, said unit head of Aditya Aluminium Kailash Pandey, who has a complete insight of the aluminium production process.

“Smelters require a consistent load network and uninterrupted power supply. For Aditya aluminium, this load requirement sums up to nearly 658 MW which is huge. However, power fluctuations are very common in solar plants as power generation depends on daylight. Cloudy weather, rains may also cause huge power swings,” Pandey points out. “Controlling turbo generators during the power swing is an upheaval task in terms of boiler stability, electricity import and export as we are connected to the grid.”

Load and generation management during grid islanding and blackout conditions is another major challenge. Regardless, Aditya Aluminium has taken certain measures to overcome the issues, added Pandey.

The fluctuations in power generation are taken care of by the intelligent load shedding system, which is Composite Islanding and Load Management System (CILMS).

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