India’s largest power utility company NTPC is going to build the world’s largest single-location solar plant of 5,000 MW capacity with an investment of about Rs 25,000 crore in Gujarat’s Kutch district by 2024.
The 5,000 MW solar capacity in Gujarat will be part of Ultra Mega Renewable Power Project (UMRPP). NTPC has so far commissioned 928 MW of renewable energy projects and plans to have 32,000 MW renewable capacity by 2024.
“NTPC is looking to expand its renewable portfolio as there is no plan for greenfield thermal plants apart from under-construction projects. India must tap natural resources such as solar, wind and hydro for electricity generation. The day is not far when India will be using more of renewable energy and coal-based power used for balancing or later part of the day,” said a source privy to the details.
NTPC has identified 2,500 acres of land in the Kutch district of Gujarat and plans to complete the project in phases by 2024. The company is yet to decide on whether it will build the solar plant on a standalone basis or in a joint venture with a partner company, even its undecided on Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) or selling power generated in the open market. The company may look at bringing battery storage at the 5,000 MW plant to effectively use solar energy by supplying power 24/7.
On the other hand, NTPC is also eyeing a greenfield hydropower plant of 400-500 MW capacity in Himachal Pradesh, which will require an investment of about Rs 2,500 crore. NTPC officials are slated to meet the state government official on September 25 to finalise the plan.
NTPC has an overall 55,000 MW capacity and has over 19,000 MW power plants under construction. NTPC has planned capital expenditure of Rs 20,000 crore for the financial year 2019-2020.