The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has awarded an engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contract to Thermax, an Indian energy and environment company, and FRENELL, a German concentrated solar power (CSP) company (through its wholly owned subsidiary Novatec Solar Espana), to set up an integrated thermal solar project at NTPC Dadri premises in Uttar Pradesh. The project involves the integration of a concentrated solar field into the Dadri coal fired power station. The heat generated from the solar field will heat the feed water supplied to the steam generator, allowing for lower coal consumption and thereby reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. The project is scheduled to be commissioned in September of 2017.
The EPC contract was awarded through an international competitive auction.
The Fresnel technology won out over parabolic trough and solar tower technologies in the auction. Thermax will be acting as the EPC contractor to the NTPC and is responsible for design, engineering, procurement and supply of the entire solar thermal plant and balance-of-plant equipment as well as the integration of the solar field into the coal fired power station. FRENELL will provide its CSP technology and will execute the turnkey manufacturing and construction of the solar field.
“CSP projects were initially auctioned under the National Solar Mission Phase I batch 1 but majority of the projects failed. CSP technologies in general have struggled around the world to compete with PV technology on cost. It will be interesting to see how an integrated coal/CSP project will fare,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.
According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, 208.5 MW of solar CSP capacity is in-operation, and 270 MW of solar thermal projects from National Solar Mission (NSM) Phase I batch 1 are still pending with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Another 10 MW project in Karnataka is expected to be commissioned by December of 2016.