State-run NLC India Ltd (formerly Neyveli Lignite Corp. Ltd) plans to invest ₹1,000 crore ($125 million) for a 51% stake in a green energy joint venture it is setting up with Assam Power Development Co. Ltd (APDCL), two people aware of the development said.
The proposal for the investment has already been moved for the Union government’s consideration, with the JV to set up a 1 gigawatt (GW) initial solar power capacity in Assam at an investment of around ₹5,500 crore. These solar power projects are expected to cost ₹5.5 crore per megawatt (MW) and will be set up in a phased manner with 200 MW to be added annually.
“This equity will be put up by NLC from its internal accruals. NLC had inked an MoU with APDCL last year which included plans for green energy projects including hydropower projects,” one of the two people cited above, requesting anonymity.
Queries emailed to the spokespersons of coal ministry, NLC and APDCL remained unanswered till press time.
Attracted by India’s green energy trajectory, conventional state-run miners are firming up clean energy plans, such as Coal India Ltd (CIL) that plans to have an installed solar power generation capacity of 3 GW by investing around ₹15,000 crore by 2024.
India has an installed renewable energy capacity of 167 GW, with the country’s electricity demand growing from the current levels of per capita electricity consumption of around 1255 kilowatt-hour (kWh). India’s electricity requirement expected to grow by 9.5% in the current fiscal, with the peak electricity demand growth of 6.82%.
India recorded an all-time high electricity demand met of 211.6 GW in June 2022; with the expectation to reach 225 GW during the coming summer season.
NLC has taken the JV route to grow, and has set up Neyveli Uttar Pradesh Power Ltd (NUPPL), NLC TamilNadu Power Ltd (NTPL), MNH Shakti Ltd and Coal Lignite Urja Vikas Pvt. Ltd (CLUVPL).
NLC currently has clean energy capacity of 1.421 GW and has 660 MW in pipeline.