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NTPC to add 5 GW solar capacity over the next two years

FILE PHOTO:  A signboard of NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation Limited) is seen outside its office in Mumbai, India, July 23, 2018. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File photo (REUTERS)Premium
FILE PHOTO: A signboard of NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation Limited) is seen outside its office in Mumbai, India, July 23, 2018. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File photo (REUTERS)

  • India’s largest power generation utility plans to have 30 GW of renewables by 2030, also looking to acquire at least 1 GW of operational solar power projects
  • With 63 GW installed capacity, NTPC runs the largest fleet of coal based capacity in India

New Delhi: State-run NTPC Ltd plans to add at least 5 gigawatt (GW) solar capacity over the next two years, said Gurdeep Singh, chairman and managing director of India’s largest power generation utility on Tuesday.

This assumes significance given that with 63 GW installed capacity, NTPC runs the largest fleet of coal based capacity in India, and has been working on a green energy push.

“NTPC group with approx. 4 GW of renewable capacity, mostly through Solar, is surging ahead to add more than 5 GW solar capacity addition in the next 2 years and 30 GW of renewables by 2030," said Singh at the inking of the partnership agreement with International Solar Alliance (ISA) for developing solar projects in 47 of least developed and small island developing member countries.

NTPC is also looking to acquire at least 1 GW of operational solar power projects, as part of its strategy to have a 32 GW clean energy portfolio by 2032. NTPC currently has a 2,298 MW renewable energy projects under construction.

“NTPC is the first mover in setting up large scale Floating Solar projects in India. Around 250 MW of floating solar projects are under construction as on date," Singh said and added, “NTPC is aggressively working on solar based green hydrogen as sustainable option for future energy."

The state run utility also plans to partner with Hyderabad-based Greenko Energies Pvt Ltd to develop ‘round-the-clock’ power supply, that may help bring down the electricity price for consumers and provide on-demand power from wind and solar projects.

Under the aegis of the ISA, India has also been trying to land solar power project contracts in its member countries. A case in point being Sri Lanka, where state-run NTPC Ltd plans to set up a solar power park. NTPC also plans to help Gambia and Malawi develop solar power parks and is eyeing project management consultancy contracts in Sudan, Mozambique, Egypt, Uganda, Rwanda and Niger. India’s largest power generation utility recently got such contracts in Mali and Togo.

“We are thankful to Government of Togo and Government of Mali for showing confidence in our capabilities by providing us the opportunity for implementation of 285 MW and 500 MW solar projects respectively," Singh said.

This comes in the backdrop of India running what will become the world’s largest clean energy programme with an aim of having 175 GW of clean energy capacity by 2022 as part of its global climate change commitments. Green energy projects now account for more than a fifth of India’s installed power generation capacity of 370 GW.

“I understand that ISA is already working on creating world's first Bank for funding solarisation projects. This will go a long way in ensuring clean and affordable energy to the masses and thus in turn ensure energy security, equity and justice," Singh said.

With Beijing taking the lead in creating Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the New Development Bank (NDB), the plan is to have a World Solar Bank (WSB) headquartered here, with India becoming its lead member by taking a stake in it.

Mint had first reported about the proposed bank on 25 June, 2018.

According to the preliminary plans being discussed, the Bank may require a total equity capital of $10 billion and a paid-up capital of $2 billion for setting up solar projects. The idea of a WSB has gained traction as many of the ISA member countries may have difficulty raising finances on their own.

India may become the lead member by taking a 30% stake in WSB, requiring a $3 billion commitment. ISA’ strategic goal includes mobilizing $1 trillion and reducing the cost of finance and technology.

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