India Coal Energy Developer Converts One Site To Solar Electricity

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Citing economics, RattanIndia Power Ltd., a leading developer of coal-fired power plants in India, plans a switch to solar for an 800-acre (324-hectare) site in Punjab. According to BloombergBusiness, the company had earmarked the site for another thermal plant, but now says “the economics of photovoltaics are more attractive.”

Roti Indian flatbread cooking on coal fire shutterstock_183550829 (1)This will hopefully expand the emphasis countries like India, Vietnam, and China are making to switch to renewable energy instead of coal.

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, said Rajiv Rattan, chairman of RattanIndia Group.

rattanindia home page“In the next three to four years, you will see the entire 800 acres getting used for solar,” Rattan said in an interview.

The decision is a reflection of increasing interest in the development of India’s solar programs following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target of installing 100 GW of capacity by 2020. The estimated cost for this endeavor of $100 billion has spurred the issuance of aggressive incentives which target financing favor from foreign companies when they bid in auctions for Indian power contracts.

RattanIndia is reported to be the only domestic firm to take on large foreign companies in Indian government auctions for solar contracts.

In 2015, the company has made an aggressive move in its renewable energy overtures. Last December, RattanIndia Solar won 10 MW of grid connected rooftop solar projects in a competitive bidding by Solar Energy Corporation Ltd. “RattanIndia participated and won 5 MW of rooftop solar PV projects each in Delhi and West Bengal,” the company said in a statement. The solar systems will be installed on CPWD buildings under a power purchase agreement (PPA) for 25 years.

Images: Roti, or Indian flatbread cooking over coal fire via Shutterstock; RattanIndia coal-fired power plant via company website

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is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers was editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributing writer for CleanTechnica, and is founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.

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