NTPC is increasing its bets on solar power as tariffs keep falling on the back of decline in prices of cells and modules in the global market. The shift in business strategy of India’s largest coal-fired generator cannot be ignored.
“It is a very good development that is happening for carbon-free power and NTPC is not wishing it away but working aggressively to be a part of it. Therefore, we are realigning our strategy and our business plan. Going way forward, our capacity addition will be less in coal and more in renewable energy space,” Gurdeep Singh, chairman and managing director of NTPC, said while outlining his company’s business strategy to newspaper DNA
He categorically said that in the renewable sector, his company’s focus would be on solar capacity addition.
Aggressive bidding has pushed solar tariff to the record low of Rs 2.44 a unit for Bhadla Solar Park in Rajasthan. In the months to come, NTPC expects the solar power price to be in the range of Rs 3 to Rs 3.20 a unit. In other words, solar power would easily compete with coal-fired electricity on the cost.
“We are planning to add renewable as fast as possible which is up to 25 GW by 2025. Although what we have added as of now is 4 GW, including under construction and commissioned,” Singh.
NTPC has already opened tenders for 10 GW of renewable power projects. It has been entrusted to develop 15 GW solar generation capacity under the National Solar Mission by 2018-19. The first tranche consists of 3 GW and the subsequent two have 5 GW and 7 GW, respectively.
Under the first tranche, 1,380 MW of solar has already been commissioned.
Singh added that NTPC is exploring the feasibility of co-generation biomass power plants ( along with coal), for which bids have been invited. The feasibility will be explored at its 490 MW Dadri Pulverised Thermal Plant in Uttar Pradesh.
The corporation is also in discussion stage to install electric vehicle charging stations in metropolitan cities for which it has initiated talks with different state governments.
NTPC has already opened bids for 10 GW of renewable projects.