Haryana rice millers turn to biomass for captive power

Written by Preeti Parashar | Chandigarh | Updated: May 2 2011, 07:16am hrs
Rice millers in Haryana are turning to power generation for captive use through biomass co-generation. Easy availability of rice husk and upgradation of technology at minimum cost are the contributory factors driving them to generate own power through this renewable energy resources.

Till date seven projects of 15.45 mw, based on biomass co-generation, have been commissioned in the state with five projects of 10.45 mw commissioned in March this year. Apart from this, distilleries are also generating power for captive use through biogas-based power projects.

A senior official of the Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency (Hareda) informed FE that more and more rice millers are coming forward with their proposals to set up biomass co-generation power plants. We recently organised a meet on the issue where 100 rice millers participated. Majority of them evinced interest in setting up the plant and we are hopeful of receiving around 20 proposals in this regard. As per the latest guidelines of CERC, the rice millers generating power for captive use can also obtain renewable energy certificate and trade the same through power exchange. The Central Electricity Regulation Corporation issues one certificate for 1000 units at a price varying between Rs 1500 and Rs 3900, said the official.

Adding further he said, We have also roped in Haryana Rice Millers Association and All India Rice Millers Export Association to promote this medium of co-generation. They can use rice husk and steam to run the plant. The only requirement is to upgrade the boiler from low pressure to high pressure one.

The promoters get a subsidy of R20 lakh per megawatt or a maximum of R5 crore from the centre for such projects. Till date we have a total of 141.56 mw of power projects based on renewable energy resources commissioned in the state.

The ones commissioned in March include Shri Vishnu Overseas at Kaithal, which has set up 1.5 mw plant at a cost of R6.75 crore. RP Basmati rice, Karnal has commissioned 0.5 mw project at a cost of R2.25 crore. Sunstar Overseas, based in Sonepat has set up 1.95 mw of biomass co-generation plant at a cost of R8.77 crore while REI Agro (unit II) at Bawal growth centre, Jaliawas, Rewari has commissioned 2.5 mw cogeneration power plant. Best Food international has set up a 4 mw co-generation plant at a cost of R18 crore. Besides these Globus Spirits distillery at Smalkha, Panipat district has commissioned 3 mw of biogas based power project in March.

Four more projects of 9.50 mw are under installation and are expected to be commissioned in another two months. By August the state is likely to have 25 mw of biomass co-generation power projects.