The country’s largest power producer NTPC plans to set up an ultra-mega solar park in Gujarat for a phased capacity of 5000 MW at an estimated investment of Rs 20,000 crore.
“We have identified two-three locations in the Kutch district and the park is likely to developed at Rs 4 crore per MW cost,” said Gurdeep Singh, chairman and managing director for NTPC. He added the company is also exploring Rajasthan as a location for another solar park.
NTPC is also considering spot market options to sell some part of its solar power, without signing long term power purchase agreements. “We are exploring if we can have some capacity on merchant basis,” Singh added.
As part of its ultra-mega solar park plans, NTPC will also look to invite other solar power developers to invest in these solar parks. “Others can also be invited to set up capacity in these solar parks and sell the power outside or back to us,” Singh added.
NTPC is also betting big on solar as well waste-to-energy plants. “We target to have 30,000 MW plus capacity of renewable power by 2030,” Singh said. As on June 2019, NTPC’s total installed capacity was at 55,786 Mw.
In the waste-to-energy segment, NTPC is collaborating with city municipal corporations for waste-supply. The company will develop a waste-to-energy plant with two city municipal corporations- East Delhi and Surat, Singh added. While the official did not share investment details, he expects regulated returns in the range of 15.5 per cent from the waste-to-energy initiative. The construction time for these plants is 30 months from the date of contract award.
The larger company strategy also includes blending solar with coal-sourced power off-take. The company will explore the battery technology as a transit option for its existing thermal and solar power capacities.
In addition to solar parks, NTPC is also working on options in the floating solar segment. “We are looking at if we can keep capacities from floating solar for the open market,” Singh said, referring to the large water reservoirs at power plants which could provide an opportunity for floating solar capacity. In its presentation, NTPC said 125 MW Floating Solar projects are under implementation for Merchant Sale.
In terms of inorganic growth, Singh added the company is exploring purchase of two coal-based power assets and one hydro power plant at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).