Indian Oil Corporation and Oil India are planning to set up a 1GW solar energy plant in the state of Madhya Pradesh in order to power their oil refineries, according to a senior figure of the state’s renewable energy agency.
It is premature to discuss timelines but the two Indian firms are working together and the agency is considering a joint venture with them, Manu Srivastava, managing director of Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam, the state's renewables agency, told PV Tech.
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He said that the oil giants are going solar as it would be cheaper than conventional energy generation as well as being a commitment to green energy. It may also relate to fulfilling Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO). The PV capacity will be installed in a solar park.
Srivastava added: “Some oil and gas companies have invested in standalone projects in wind and so on, […] but this is the biggest project of its kind.”
The last year has seen several India-based heavy industry, mining and fossil fuel companies enter the Indian solar energy space including: Coal India Limited (CIL), Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC), Adani, Steel Authority of India and Aditya Birla Nuvo.
Steel giant ArcelorMittal planned to build a 500-600MW solar plant in Karnataka after it backed out from plans to build a six million tonnes per annum steel mill. Meanwhile, RattanIndia Power planned to use a 324 hectare site in Punjab, originally pegged for a thermal power plant, to build a 200MW solar PV project.
Just Yesterday PV Tech also reported National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) tendering for a 20MW PV plant in Madhya Pradesh.