Coal Developer in India Shifts Its Latest Project to Solar
A leading coal developer in central India is hoping to turn the site of its next thermal plant into a 324-hectare (800-acre) solar farm, arguing that photovoltaic generation is more cost-effective.
“RattanIndia Power Ltd., which has 1.6 gigawatts of thermal capacity in central India, asked government permission to install solar panels at the site in Punjab instead of the coal plant it was planning,” Bloomberg reports. So far, RattanIndia has been the only domestic firm going head to head with major international companies competing in government solar auctions, responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s drive to install 100 GW of new solar capacity by 2020.
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“In the next three to four years, you will see the entire 800 acres getting used for solar,” RattanIndia Group Chairman Rajiv Rattan told Upadhyay.
“Rattan intends to double his company’s solar capacity to 500 megawatt in the next six months and will also raise 6 billion rupees (US$88 million) to fund 240 megawatts of projects won in recent auctions,” she writes. Last month, the company won shares of two auctions in the states of Rajasthan and Maharashtra, one of which produced record-low prices of 4.34 rupees/6¢ per kilowatt-hour.