300 MW Solar Projects Planned at Chandrapur CSTPS

Highlights :

  • Two solar power plants of 145MW and 105MW have already been initiated by CSTPS in Kachrala and Irai Dam respectively.
  • The move is aimed at mitigating carbon emission from the CSTPS.
300 MW Solar Projects Planned at Chandrapur CSTPS

Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station (CSTPS) will develop a whopping 300MW solar power project to offset or mitigate its persisting carbon emission. The super thermal power station has been in the news for a long time for the massive air pollution caused by it. The company has now decided to create three solar power plants with a total capacity of about 300 MW in the same area where the CSTPS is located in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra. On January 20, the Pune bench of the National Green Tribunal had slapped a fine of Rs 5 crores on Mahagenco for the air, water and land pollution caused by the plant, while further directing a series of steps including the formation of a committee to track and suggest panaceas from the pollution caused.

The company has already begun to check its emission levels from the said thermal plant. The new solar projects will improve its image. The company sources have said that the CSTPS is already in the process of development of these projects. It is learnt that the two solar parks will be built first. One project of 145 MW will come up at Kachrala. The other will be a state-of-art floating solar plant in Irai Dam of 105MW.

In the CSTPS, 300MW of electricity requires about 3,500 metric tonnes of coal every day; for a year, it comes to about 13 lakh MT coal consumption. The company believes that the solar power projects of 300 MW can mitigate about 270 MT of carbon dioxide every day. Out of the total 3340 MW capacity at Chandrapur STPS, just about 1000 MW has been set up post 2015. All the remaining capacity is pre-1997, which is one reason that the older equipment uses more polluting technology. It will be no surprise if a case is made for closing the almost 2000 MW of such capacity in due course.

The floating solar plant is of special mention as it will be created on the backwaters of the Irai Dam with a cost of about Rs 580 crore. The backwaters have a large area of more than 7000 hectares and the solar panels will cover a little over 400 acres. Company says that the floating project will have twin benefits – clean energy is harnessed and water evaporation is reduced.

The dam lies in the ecologically hotspot region of Chandrapur and Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve and is built on the Irai river.

The Kachrala solar project is expected to cost CSTPS Rs 569 crores and the company already has the land with it as it was acquired during the development of the thermal power plant. Solar panels with crystalline technology will be erected on the fallow land and is expected to be the largest solar plant in Maharashtra on completion.

In the adjoining Rashtrawadi Nagar area, the company had already built a small solar project of 5 MW and now it’s waiting for a feasibility report for another 50MW project on the same site spanning over 200 acres of land.

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