Coal India to create subsidiary for solar manufacturing: The single largest coal producer in the world Coal India Limited (CIL) has secured an approval from the company’s board to incorporate 2 wholly-owned subsidiaries, one for the solar value chain (ingot-wafer-cell-module) business, and the other for New and Renewable Energy. These decisions are subject to approval from the Government of India, the company declared in a stock exchange filing. This follows in-principle approval the board had granted to the company to venture into aluminium value chain (mining-refining-smelting), and solar power value chain (ingot-wafer-cell-module and generation). It had been allowed to undertake feasibility studies, business analysis and consider financial viability to create special purpose vehicles (SPV) for 2 business verticals—solar power value chain & new and renewable energy—as well as for Central Coalfields Limited to set up an integrated greenfield aluminium complex.
EESL tender for 279 MW solar power capacity: The Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has sought bids from eligible bidders for 279 MW solar power generating systems to be deployed across various locations in Maharashtra. Projects need to be set up in the range of 2 MW to 10 MW under 11 lots and 63 sites identified in the tender. The tender has been launched under Scaling Up Demand Side Energy Efficiency (Sector) Project financed by Germany’s KFW. Last date submit bids being March 19, 2021, as per the bid notice issued.
Solar cell efficiency research in India: Minister of Power RK Singh has revealed the government is funding solar cell research in the country. It is backing the development of crystalline silicon solar cells by the National Center for Photovoltaic Research and Education (NCPRE) at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay targeting an efficiency of 22%. Another research work it is supporting is being done by the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) that’s aiming for 21% efficiency for PERC solar cells, the minister said while responding to a query in the Parliament, according to Mercom India Research. Such levels are both lower than what’s commercially available Made in China today.
Solar panels for railway stations: The Indian Railways (IR) has provided solar panels/plants to 79 railway stations in the state of Madhya Pradesh as part of its plans to set up solar plants at railway stations based on the technical feasibility and viability. It will continue to provide solar panels/plants at other feasible stations in Madhya Pradesh. Sharing this information as a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal said currently there is no proposal to set up hybrid wind/solar power plants which will be capable of generating electricity through wind, besides solar energy. The ministry also announced separately that it has equipped 60 passenger coaches with solar panels to meet its light and fan power requirements. It will also provide solar panels for 10 non-AC coaches at Mathura, Uttar Pradesh and 30 non-AC passenger coaches in Lucknow-Varanasi section.
25 MW solar PV tender in Assam: The Assam Power Generation Corporation Limited (APGCL) has launched a tender for 25 MW solar PV power plant to be set up at Namrup Thermal Power Station at Namrup in the state. Broad scope of work includes design, construction, commissioning along with associated transmission system and comprehensive operation and maintenance of the project for 5 years. Last date to submit bids is March 26, 2021. This seems to be a retender of a 25 MW solar PV tender the state agency launched for Namrup Thermal Power Station in 2019 (see NTPC Awards Only 300 MW Solar Out Of 1.2 GW Tendered).