New Delhi : State-owned Coal India (CIL) is in the process of identifying places for setting up of solar projects worth Rs 7,000 crore.

“Coal India is in the process of identifying places for setting up the solar projects,” a source said.”The directions for the same were given to the company a couple of days ago. CIL is working on them,” the source added.

The source, however, refused, to give more details stating that the “initiative was at a very early stage.” CIL is in talks with the New and Renewable Energy Ministry for setting up a combined capacity of 1,000 MW.

On an average, Rs 7 crore per megawatt is incurred in setting up a solar power plant. The solar initiative is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to provide 24×7 electricity to push ahead economic growth. The government is expecting $100 billion investment in the renewable energy sector in the next four years as it firms up a new policy framework.

Renewables account for more than 70,000 MW of the country’s total installed power generation capacity of over 2,50,000 MW. Renewable energy generation worldwide is projected to rise by 45 per cent and account for about 26 per cent of global electricity generation by 2020.

Coal India, which accounts for over 80 per cent of the domestic coal production, produced 462 million tonnes (MT) of coal in the last fiscal, missing its target of 482 MT.

Meanwhile , Coal India has so far entered into fuel supply pacts with 161 power units for a capacity of 73,675 MW. “Out of 78,000 mw capacity as on date, CIL (Coal India Ltd) has signed 161 FSAs (fuel supply agreements) for a capacity of 73,675 MW,” according to a Coal India document.

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