NTPC mulls exploring renewable energy with innovative ways

Mumbai: State-run NTPC is planning to set up an ultra-mega solar park in the Kutch region of Gujarat that will produce up to 5,000 mega watts (MW). For this Rs 20,000 crore worth project, the company may consider opting for partial power purchase agreement (PPA), said NTPC chairman and managing director Gurdeep Singh.

The company wants to consider other options than the regular PPA and to see if the company can have some direct linkages with the merchants. In case of Kutch, Singh said, the company has finalised the location. At the same time, NTPC is exploring ultra-mega solar park in Rajasthan as well.

Further, he said NTPC is also planning to tie up with municipalities to produce electricity from solid waste. "Since last year we have been running a pilot project in Banaras in UP that converts bio-waste into electricity.

Now we are planning to do a similar project with the East Delhi Municipal Corporation to produce 20 mw a day and we will float the tender over the next 30 months.”

The company is in advance stages in case of Surat Municipal Corporation, he added. In these projects, 25% investment will be made by municipal corporation and rest 75% will come from NTPC.

He added, “We are very keen on working with forward looking municipal corporation.” In this agreement, the civic bodies will have to deliver the waste and also share the cost with the company.

While the company has maintained aggressive position in case of renewables, Singh added, “Coal will stay for next 2-3 decades, if not more.”

He claimed, “Coal will play dominate role for next 5-10 years.” The contribution of renewable energy has been on an upswing and projects like ultra-mega solar park efforts are put into to replace coal with renewables.

Compared to last year, the coal stock this year has been high, even though there was some disruption in mining due to strike. “Today, we are having more coal stock compared to what we had last year the same day.”

Singh added in Talcher, the company is in the middle of the mine but still facing problem. “We are facing generation loss as there was a strike. There were few things beyond your control.”

He added that due to good rainfall this year hydro-electricity generation will be far better than last year. “The renewable capacity is also increasing. So the pressure on the coal side should be less... But coal still continues to bother.” In a life cycle of the coal-based plant—setting up to decommissioning, it will continue to face one problem, or other, stated Singh.

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