New Delhi: With plans of adding new thermal power capacity on the back burner, state-run NTPC is planning to use land acquired for thermal power plants for setting up Renewable Energy (RE) projects, said a top company official on Wednesday. "NTPC Board has not approved any new thermal power plant in the last five years and with the government not planning to add any new coal-fired power plants in the future, NTPC is planning to use land acquired for thermal power plants for RE projects," NTPC Renewable Energy Ltd's (NREL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mohit Bhargava said. He was speaking at a virtual event organised by the India Energy Forum (IEF).
Elaborating on NTPC's green energy expansion plans, Bhargava said that the PSU is moving aggressively towards energy transition. "Whoever has observed NTPC's journey would know that it took the company six decades to put in place 60 GW of installed capacity. Now, we have plans to add the same quantum of RE projects in the next 10 years. We are moving on RE capacity installation with much more aggression, as we should. The idea is to build an RE portfolio that is equivalent to NTPC's thermal capacity." Last year, NTPC had doubled its RE capacity installation target for 2032 from 32 GW to 60 GW.
Referring to the target set out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the COP-26 Summit in 2021 where he committed that India would put in place 500 GW of RE capacity by 2030, Bhargava said, "We are gearing up to be in a position where we can continue to supply a quarter of the energy required by the country, as NTPC does today, in 2030 through RE sources." He added that green hydrogen, green ammonia are some of the other verticals in the RE segment that the company is diversifying into.
The NREL CEO said that with the market for electricity supply undergoing changes, NTPC is also exploring non-PPA routes for supply of power. Referring to the Centre's decision to allow bundling of RE with thermal power under existing Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), the NREL CEO said that the company is looking to make the most of the flexible guidelines as it will result in savings for both the company and the states which are party to PPAs. In addition, the PSU is also actively looking at routing power supply to discoms through power exchanges.
Discussing NTPC's green initiatives, Bhargava said that going forward, NTPC is planning to increase the use of 'green coal,' produced through municipal solid waste, to fire its thermal power plants and also step up carbon capture utilisation.