The oil firms are going solar as it would be cheaper than conventional energy generation as well as being a commitment to green energy. Credit: Twiiter: Indian Oil Corporation
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.
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.