India’s NTPC plans more than 5GW of new solar in two years

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NTPC is India’s largest utility with about 64GW of total generation capacity. Image: NTPC.

NTPC, India’s largest power company, is aiming to add more than 5GW of new solar capacity in the next two years as it builds its renewables presence overseas thanks to a collaboration with the International Solar Alliance (ISA). 

Managing director Gurdeep Singh said the majority state-owned utility is currently “surging ahead” to add more green energy, with a goal of increasing renewables output from its current 4GW level to 30GW by 2030.

Singh was speaking yesterday at a virtual summit of ISA, an organisation launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015 that aims to promote solar energy in 121 countries.

He revealed that NTPC has signed an agreement with ISA for the development of solar projects in 47 member countries. “We are eager to work closely with the member country governments in identifying the projects and their implementation,” he said.

The plans see NTPC, which has about 63GW of total installed power generation capacity and is India’s largest thermal power generation company, expand its green energy drive after agreeing to set up a renewables joint venture in May with India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation. Media reports last year suggested the firm would not set up any new coal-based power plants in the next few years to reduce its carbon footprint.

NTPC was approved by ISA last year as a project management consultant for solar projects in its member countries. It has since secured contracts to develop a 500MW solar park in Mali and a 285MW solar facility in Togo.

Singh said: “NTPC is eager to share its experience with ISA member countries and would like to exchange all possible help in increased deployment of solar energy technologies.”

Floating solar will play a role in the firm's 5GW goal, with around 250MW of projects under construction to date, according to Singh, who added that the company is also “aggressively working on solar-based green hydrogen as a sustainable option for future energy”.

India has a target of installing 175GW of renewable capacity by 2022 and is aiming for 450GW by 2030.

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