Public sector companies are heeding to the Indian government’s direction to set up large-scale renewable energy projects, especially solar power projects. The latest to join the long list of government-owned companies to announce a major investment in the solar power sector is NTPC Limited, India’s largest power generator.
NTPC Limited (formerly National Thermal Power Corporation) has announced plans to set up a 750 MW ultra mega solar photovoltaic power project in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The company plans to invest ₹5,000 crore ($811 million) into the project. The project would be a major milestone in the company’s near-term target to install 3,500 MW solar power capacity over the next five years.
A large portion of the 3.5 GW capacity would come up in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. NTPC plans to install similar ultra-mega solar power projects in the two states.
The Indian government has directed state-owned companies to invest heavily in solar power projects. This strategy has been adopted in lieu of the decision not to impose anti-dumping duties on imported solar power modules. According to government sources, government-owned companies can give preference to domestic solar power equipment under WTO regulations.
NTPC Chairman stated that the company will invite bids for solar PV modules from domestic as well as foreign companies but will request foreign companies to manufacture the equipment in India.
NTPC has significant experience in supply of bundled conventional and renewable power to power distribution companies. A subsidiary of the company currently sells a unit of solar power bundled with four units of conventional power to distribution companies across India. This not only makes the renewable power affordable for the cash-starved distribution companies but they can also avoid running around looking for specific renewable energy suppliers to meet their renewable purchase obligation.
For more news from this hot solar market, check out our India archives.
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