India’s Reliance Power plans to sell coal mines, shift to solar power

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One of India’s largest private power generation companies has decided to make a major transition to solar power.

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CleanTechnica

india_solar-638x414Probably tired of the unending petitions with the regulatory bodies to increase tariffs for coal-based power plants, one of India’s largest private power generation companies, has decided to make a major transition to solar power.

Reliance Power owns 3 coal mines in Indonesia through a subsidiary. The mines were supposed to be supply coal for an ultra mega power plant that the company had successfully bid. Work on the 3,960 MW power plant at Krishnapatnam has now stopped as the company expressed its inability to supply power at the low price it had bid during the auction.

The company has stated that coal prices have risen significantly due to policies enacted by the Indonesian government. Power utilities across the country are against revision of the power purchase agreement at a higher cost. Thus, the project lies in shambles, and the company is now planning to sell the mines.

Reliance Power also exited from the Tilaiya UMPP after waiting 5 years for the required approvals.

Meanwhile, the Indian government announced a huge target of 100 GW installed solar power capacity by 2022. Reliance Power is now looking to make a switch to solar power. It signed an agreement with the state government of Rajasthan to set up 6 GW solar power capacity. The company already operates a large solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant and one of the handful concentrated solar thermal power projects in India.

The company will also participate in the scores of competitive auctions lined up under the central and state government policies.

The company seems to have realized that the cost of coal-based power is going to increase and may also remain uncertain as it is heavily dependent on international events and market situation. And it is not easy to convince the power regulators to revise the power price, especially when the utilities are reeling under debts of billions of dollars.

Reliance Power now operates one UMPP at Sasan. However, the company recently asked a government entity to take over the project after allocation of a coal mine associated with the project was cancelled by the Supreme Court of India as a fallout of the coal mine allocation scam under the previous government.

Source: CleanTechnica. Reproduced with permission.

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10 Comments
  1. Jacob 3 years ago

    Good news. And any new coal power stations built ought to be “dry cooled” as they are in South Africa.

    Do not waste freshwater to cool climate destroying power stations.

    • Ronald Brakels 3 years ago

      That seems like it would be a good idea, but air cooling reduces a coal plant’s efficiency and causes them to emit more carbon dioxide, ozone, nitrous oxide, particulates, and heavy metals per kilowatt-hour generated. Basically, you just can’t win with coal.

      • Jacob 3 years ago

        How come the ones in RSA are air cooled?

        • Ronald Brakels 3 years ago

          They don’t have enough water. Same with Australia’s newest coal plant, the Kogan Creek Power Station completed 8 years ago in 2007. It uses uses big fans to partly cool the water down while it is in pipes, and then the water flows into an open cooling pond where it sits until it reaches ambient temperature (or close to it). This method still looses some water, but much less than say using a cooling tower or pumping the water directly into a cooling pond.

          In the state of Victoria, the Hazelwood brown coal power station pumps its water directly into a cooling pond and so now it is full of African tropical fish.

          • Jacob 3 years ago

            Great info!

            Coal power stations are such a waste of water.

  2. david_fta 3 years ago

    Perhaps Adani can be convinced to take over Reliance’s Indonesian mines in lieu of developing Carmichael?

    • michael 3 years ago

      why would that be a good idea?

      • david_fta 3 years ago

        Because Australia (and the world) is better off if the Galilee Basin is never mined. Obviously, it would be preferable for the world if these Indonesian mines are shut down also, but if the choice was continued operation of these existing mines OR buggering up the Galilee Basin, the former is less deleterious.

  3. john 3 years ago

    cripes do not tell the Australia Government this because they think ” Coal is good for Humanity” and “Coal is the Energy Future” and well it is ” All about jobs”
    Please add other “IDIOT” comments please feel free

  4. Mike Dill 3 years ago

    The ten year cost (build and operate) of a new utility scale solar installation is very close to that of a new coal plant. If the cost of fuel goes up, the coal plant will be losing money. Next year the cost of the solar plant goes down some more, and the coal mines are worth even less.
    This is a good time to get out of coal and build a solar power plant.

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