POWER UTILITY | Staff Reporter, India

Mining firm Coal India eyes developing 1GW of solar projects

It also plans to shut down 37 coal mines.

State-owned coal mining company Coal India Ltd (CIL) plans to close 37 loss making underground coal production mines in India, to save between Rs 800 crore and Rs 1,000 crore per year (US$125-155m/year). Mine closures should occur in 2017-2018. Overall some 60 mines operated by CIL's four subsidiaries Eastern Coalfields (ECL), Bharat Coking Coal (BCCL), South Eastern Coalfields (SECL) and Central Coalfields (CCL) could be stopped in phases.

In addition, CIL has announced plans to develop 1,000 MW of solar power projects, in order to reduce its carbon footprint. In the long term, the company plans to reach 10 GW of renewable power capacity addition. This decision is in line with previous plans unveiled in September 2016 to develop 600 MW of solar power plants in four states, including two 100 MW solar power projects in the state of Madhya Pradesh and 400 MW solar parks in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Maharashtra at a later stage. CIL had signed an agreement with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for developing 1 GW of capacity in different places of India.

The Ministry of power, coal, mines and renewable energy of India remains confident on the country's capacity to achieve 175 GW of renewable capacity by 2022. In 2016-2017, net renewable capacity additions exceeded conventional (thermal) capacity additions and new solar and wind capacity installations hit record high levels. 

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