In a move that is tipped to give a big boost to solar power generation in the country in general and Orissa in particular, the Orissa government has urged the Union ministry of power to introduce a policy which makes it mandatory for all the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to generate solar power equivalent to one per cent of their proposed thermal power capacity.
"Orissa has got a number of investment proposals from the IPPs. We have requested the Union power ministry to come out with a policy which makes it mandatory for all the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to generate solar power equivalent to one per cent of their proposed thermal power capacity. Moreover, we have suggested that these IPPs can sell thermal as well as solar power in bundled form”, an official source told Business Standard.
The generation and consumption of solar power being an expensive proposition, many of the power producers are not keen on tapping this renewable energy source. As against the cost of Rs 4-4.5 crore per MW for setting up a thermal power plant, the cost of installation of a solar power plant is around Rs 18 crore per MW.
However, a policy measure which makes its mandatory on the part of the IPPs to commit one per cent of their proposed thermal capacity to solar power generation and the concept of selling both thermal and solar power in bundled form is expected to promote solar power in a big way.
It ma be noted that as many as 27 IPPs have entered into MoUs (Memoranda of Understanding) with the Orissa government for setting up coal-based power plants with a cumulative capacity of 32,420 MW.
Besides, there is a proposed capacity addition of 23000 MW through the setting up of an Ultra Mega Power Plant and also capacity expansion plans of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and the state utility- Orissa Power Generation Corporation (OPGC).
Out of the 27 IPPs, Sterlite Energy has commissioned the first unit (600 MW) of its 2400 MW (4x600) power plant at Burkhamunda near Jharsuguda.