According to an NTPC statement, the Seli (400 MW) and Miyar (120 MW) projects would be set up at the Chenab basin in the Lahaul and Spiti district.
NTPC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Himachal Pradesh government to set up two hydro-power projects in the state, with a cumulative capacity of 520MW, which would require an estimated investment of about Rs 5,300 crore. The move is seen to help the thermal power behemoth reach its goal of achieving 32 GW of renewable energy capacity —25% of its installed base — by 2032.
According to an NTPC statement, the Seli (400 MW) and Miyar (120 MW) projects would be set up at the Chenab basin in the Lahaul and Spiti district. Both these plants would be run-of-the-river projects, which means that no large reservoirs would be built in these rivers and large tracts of land will not be submerged as the power plants are ecologically sustainable.
Both the projects were earlier been taken up by the now-distressed Hindustan Power. The Seli project had been advertised for fresh allotment by the Himachal government on build-own-operate-transfer basis “under private sector” in March, 2018. In 2016, the estimated cost of the Seli project was calculated to be Rs 4,118.6 crore. The average cost of building a hydro-power plant comes to around Rs 9.83 crore per MW.
NTPC already owns the 800-MW Koldam hydro-power project in Himachal Pradesh. Of its standalone power generation capacity of 47,325 MW, more than 1,700 MW (including hydro-power) are comprised of renewable energy. About 750 MW of solar projects are expected to be commissioned in FY20 by NTPC under developer mode.
Overall, it has awarded more than 3,000 MW of renewable energy projects as a developer. The company is also planning to set up a 5,000-MW solar park in Gujarat by 2022, where it is also mulling to install power storage facilities.
The MoU with Himachal to set up hydro-power projects comes at a time when NTPC is eyeing to acquire more than 60% stake in SJVN, which is a joint venture between the central government and Himachal Pradesh. However, NTPC has still not been able to go ahead with the deal as the Himachal government is reluctant with the proposal.