- CIL has signed a MoU with RVUNL for 1.2 GW solar power plant to be installed in Rajasthan
- It will be established for INR 80 billion within 2 GW UMREPP solar park of RVUNL in Bikaner
- RVUNL will provide land and grid connectivity for the project that’s scheduled to come online in phases in next 2 years
State-owned and the ‘world’s single largest’ coal producer Coal India Limited (CIL) has announced its biggest ever solar power project planned to date with 1.2 GW, rounded up from 1.19 GW, capacity to be set up in Rajasthan, under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government.
The company entered the MoU with state power generator Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited (RVUNL) to install the project in the latter’s 2 GW solar park in Bikaner. The solar park is approved under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) Ultra Mega Renewable Energy Power Parks (UMREPP) scheme. It had been looking for a consultant for the project earlier this year (see Rajasthan 2 GW Solar Consultancy Tender).
It will be built in a phased manner for a total investment of INR 80 billion ($971 million). Final implementation and investment plans will be worked out along the way. On its part, RVUNL will provide access to encroachment and encumbrance free land to the CIL along with facilitating grid connectivity. CIL targets to start commercial operations for this project in 24 months.
The coal producer aims to establish 3 GW solar power project capacity by FY 2023-24 under its net zero energy initiative and this 1.2 GW facility accounts for almost 40% of the plan (see 3 GW Solar Power Plans Unveiled By Coal India Ltd).
CIL has a ‘modest’ production capacity of 79 million tons of coal at 318 mines as of April 1, 2022, and is responsible for 85% of the total domestic coal production. It alone accounts for 55% of the country’s total power generation capacity and meets 40% of India’s primary commercial energy requirements.
The 1.2 GW solar power plant is aligned with the company’s decarbonization targets as it diversifies into solar power generation, aluminum production and coal gasification.
In September 2021, it launched a tender to seek prospective equity partners for 4 GW solar PV ingot to module manufacturing capacity in India (see CIL Launches RFQ For 4 GW PV Manufacturing).