Coal India (CIL) will make an investment to the tune of Rs 5,650 crore (USD 763 million) by March 2024. The investment will be made to build 14 solar projects to help power its mining operations and cut costs.
The company will fund nearly two-thirds of its plan to construct rooftop and ground-mounted solar power projects with a capacity of 3,000 MW with cash.
A joint venture with lignite miner NLC India would finance the remaining of the company’s solar expansion. The solar power initiative will help CIL reduce its whopping annual power consumption expense. Such costs accounted for 4.4 percent of its annual costs.
CIL plans to produce one billion tonne of coal a year by 2023-24. The miner’s output fell for the first time in more than two decades in 2019-20 to nearly 603 million tonne.
Separately, the company has set up a joint venture with NTPC and signed an agreement with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for solar projects of 1,000 MW each. Besides establishing solar projects, it is in discussions with NTPC for purchase of 140 MW solar power.