Sunday, May 22, 2022

Coal India considering setting up solar power projects in de-coaled mines

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  • A total of 284 coal mines of CIL and nine mines of Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) have been closed, abandoned or discontinued as on April 1, 2021
  • CIL is exploring the possibilities to develop ground mounted solar power projects in its suitable decoaled area, the Coal Minister has said

New Delhi: State-run Coal India Ltd (CIL) is considering setting up solar power projects in suitable de-coaled mines, Union Minister for Coal Pralhad Joshi told the Rajya Sabha on Monday. In a written response to a question raised in the Upper House of Parliament, Joshi said that a total of 284 coal mines of CIL and nine mines of Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) have been closed, abandoned or discontinued as on April 1, 2021. “These mines have been closed/abandoned/discontinued due to depletion of reserve, spontaneous heating, safety reasons, inundation, adverse techno-economics, financial losses, adverse geo-mining conditions, surface constraints, conversion to opencast mine, etc,” Joshi said.

“CIL is also exploring the possibilities to develop ground mounted solar power projects in its suitable decoaled area,” the minister told the House.

Coal India putting abandoned mines to eco-friendly use

The minister told the House that Coal India has been utilising its abandoned coal mines in eco-friendly ways. The abandoned quarries of CIL are used for dumping, filling of fly ash in to the worked out area for suitable reclamation, development of eco and mine tourism parks, afforestation, pisciculture, source to supply of drinking water and other domestic use and generation of sand from overburden of opencast mines at few places.

SCCL, on the other hand, has been undertaking extensive plantation and development of agricultural fields and eco parks in such mines. “It is proposed to fill the voids of Medipalli OCP after mine closure by fly ash generated from NTPC / TSTPS Project of Telangana State,” said Joshi.

Coal India to set up 3,000 MW solar power projects by FY24

Coal India has plans to set up 14 rooftop and ground-mounted solar power projects of 3,000 megawatt (MW) capacity by financial year 2023-24 (FY24) at an investment of about Rs 5,650 crore. Coal India has been mandated by the Ministry of Coal to become a net-zero company and solar power initiative is a part of CIL’s diversification plans.

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