Madhya Pradesh to focus on wind energy, solar power sources

The government of Madhya Pradesh seems no more interested in coal-run power projects. Its focus is on non-conventional power projects using solar and wind energy sources.

Five thermal power plants in the state with a combined capacity of 8,500 megawatt (Mw) have been awaiting coal linkage for the past five years. Three of these are to be developed by NTPC at Gadarwara, Barethi (Bundelkhand region) and Khargone (west Madhya Pradesh).

The Rs 8,000-crore thermal project at Khargone was supposed to be completed in 42 months from signing of the memorandum of understanding between Madhya Pradesh Power Generating Company (MPPGC) and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) in 2010.

According to Madhya Pradesh power minister Rajendra Shukla, the project has been aborted.

“The 1,320-Mw Rewa thermal power project in Khandwa (west Madhya Pradesh) is also likely to be shelved,” Shukla told Business Standard. “Why should we buy costly power?”

Another project is being curtailed. The state government’s original plan for the Dada Dhuniwale project was to generate 20,000 Mw by 2020.

Now, the government wants to cut it to 17,000 Mw and from unconventional resources.

“After feeder separation, we saw demand was lower than what we had expected. We are more focused on non-conventional energy sources,” said Shukla.

In response to queries from Business Standard, NTPC said: “Work is in full swing at the 16,00-Mw Gadarwara project. Key land acquisition activities for the main plant, ash dyke and township are complete for the 1,320-Mw Khargone and 2640 Mw Barethi super critical thermal power stations. Also, the initial civil work like boundary wall, etc, is in progress at both the sites.” NTPC already operates the 4,260-Mw Vindhyachal thermal power station in Madhya Pradesh.

The company did not respond to questions on coal availability for the projects. “We are more interested in non-conventional energy sources like solar and wind. We plan to add another 3,000 Mw of power from solar energy by 2017. It would augment our power availability to approximately 17,000 Mw,” said the minister.

The state government has also signed a deal with Solar Energy Corporation of India for the world’s largest solar power plant of 750 Mw capacity near the minister’s home town Rewa.

“An area of 3,500 acres has been earmarked in Gudh tehsil for the purpose,” he said.

MPPGC’s own thermal power stations generate 3,720 Mw, while 917.2 Mw comes from hydel power stations, 2,426.50 Mw from joint venture projects, 3,731.10 Mw from central quota and Damodar Valley Corporation. It gets 2,033.50 Mw from private power projects and 570 Mw from non-conventional sources.

As of now, the state has availability of 13,398.30 Mw. The peak demand has reached 10,000 Mw against the normal demand of 6,500-7,500 Mw.