Coal India Limited (CIL) has received approval from its board to venture into the solar power value chain and aluminum value chain.
In a BSE filing, the coal giant said that the board has approved the creation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to set up an integrated solar wafer manufacturing facility to boost the solar value chain. It will also set up an integrated aluminum complex — a greenfield project of Central Coalfields Limited (CCL), a CIL subsidiary. The company is also planning to start a new and renewable energy business vertical.
Mercom earlier reported that the Coal Vision 2030 report, commissioned by Coal India, it was emphasized that solar could soon become the substitute for coal-fired power in the country. “With the increasing threat of climate change impacting humanity and the global funding focus on renewables, it is a matter of time when the alternate clean energy would displace coal. To complicate matters further, immediate events such as short-term price movements, out of line with the dominant trend since 2008, have given people the ammunition to argue against a wider and over-arching trend,” the report observed.
Since then, the company has been engaged in solar capacity building, including large-scale solar, floating, and rooftop solar.
Last month, CIL announced that it would invest ₹56.50 billion ($763 million) by March 2024 to develop 14 solar power projects to help power its mining operations. As per the report, the state-owned company will fund nearly two-thirds of the total capacity of 3 GW of rooftop and ground-mounted solar projects. The company would also enter into a joint venture with NLC India and fund the rest of its solar expansion plans.
Subsequently, Bharat Coking Coal Limited, a subsidiary of CIL, invited bids to develop 1.2 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar projects at 19 of its locations in Dhanbad, Jharkhand.
CIL has also floated bids for the empanelment of engineering, procurement, and construction contractors for ground-mounted and floating solar power projects being developed by it and its subsidiaries.
In November last year, CIL issued an Expression of Interest to set up a 100 MW solar pilot project in Chhattisgarh for captive consumption to help it meet the government’s solar target. The government expects the coal producer to become a net-zero energy company by setting up 3 GW of solar power projects in the country.