In a push to increase the share of green energy in its installed capacity, NTPC has recently come up with tenders for 4,750 MW of renewable power projects. Of this, 2,000 MW are for wind power projects, while the remaining capacity would be solar based. The projects would significantly enhance the largest thermal power producer’s renewable energy portfolio, which now has 870 MW of solar and 50 MW of wind power projects. This is the first time NTPC is conducting reverse auctions for wind projects under the developer mode, where a company quoting the lowest per-unit tariff of electricity would be awarded projects. According to sources, a company can bid for a maximum of 500 MW capacity. NTPC’s existing wind project in Rojmal, Gujarat, was awarded to Noida-based Inox Wind on a turnkey basis. Currently, the lowest wind power tariff stands at `2.43/unit, discovered in December 2017.
The company has invited two separate tenders (750 MW and 2,000 MW) for solar projects. The 750 MW (250X3) would be set up in the Anathapuram ultra mega solar park in Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh. For the other solar tender, the lowest bidders at the reverse auctions can choose the location of the projects. Solar tariff of `3.15/unit was discovered in the previous auction conducted by NTPC in April last year for a 250-MW slot in the Kadapa solar park, which was the lowest rate at that time. Currently, the lowest solar tariff is Rs 2.44/unit, discovered in May 2017 at the reverse auctions for developing 500 MW of solar plants at Rajasthan’s Bhadla.
The power generation behemoth plans to have about 30% of the 130-GW target in its Corporate Plan 2032 to be sourced from non-fossil fuel-based resources. NTPC has also successfully tested the co-firing of biomass in its conventional coal-fired boilers and is going ahead for burning up to 10% of biomass pellets in the boilers in one of its power projects. On Monday, the firm’s overall power generation capacity reached 52,000 MW as it commissioned a 800-MW generating unit in its Kudgi plant. NTPC is currently building an additional capacity of over 20,000 MW at multiple locations in the country.