Cigarettes-to-hotel conglomerate ITC Ltd has commissioned its first offsite solar plant at Dindigul in Tamil Nadu. Built for Rs 76 crore, the plant will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by the group’s businesses.
The 14.9 megawatt (MW) plant spread over 59 acres will generate over twenty-two million units of renewable energy annually for ITC’s hotels, food manufacturing plants, paper manufacturing, and printing and packaging factories in Tamil Nadu.
The plant has helped ITC meet 90 per cent of its electricity requirement from renewable sources in Tamil Nadu. ITC’s renewable portfolio comprises 138 MW of wind power plants and 14 MW of Solar plants with 53MW of additional solar capacity under execution. Currently, projects are also underway in other sources of renewable energy like biomass boilers. The company has made investments of more than Rs 1000 crore in renewable energy assets.
The company said in a statement that the new project is in line with ITC chairman Sanjiv Puri’s ‘Sustainability 2.0’ Vision that calls for inclusive strategies to support livelihoods, fight climate change, support circular economy and enable the transition to a net-zero ecosystem, it said. As a part of this Vision, ITC plans to meet100 percent of the entire grid electricity requirements from renewable sources by 2030 and contribute meaningfully to combat the threat of climate change.
“At ITC, we have relentlessly pursued a mission for environmental stewardship through a gamut of large scale endeavours that comprehensively address the threat of climate change. Our large-scale investments in renewable energy assets are an integral part of our low carbon strategy aimed at making a meaningful contribution to a net-zero economy," said Sanjiv Rangrass, Group Head – ITC Life Sciences & Technology.
Renewable energy powers twenty factories, nine hotels, and six office buildings of ITC in Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar, Haryana, West Bengal, and Punjab. In 2018, ITC became the first private sector entity to wheel renewable energy across states through the Inter-State Open Access mechanism. Currently, ITC’s 46MW Wind power plant in Andhra Pradesh supplies power to over 15 ITC establishments in eight states. This has led to a higher renewable energy utilization for the company.
Besides investing in new renewable energy assets, ITC, as part of its Sustainability 2.0 agenda aims to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in specific emissions and a 30 per cent reduction in specific energy consumption by 2030 over a 2014-15 baseline. Such efforts in decarbonizing energy consumption through low-carbon energy solutions will be met through large-scale digitalisation and R&D initiatives, cross-sectoral collaborations, and partnerships.