NTPC Concall- Spotlight On Aggressive Renewables Plans

Highlights :

  • The National Generator produced  314 Billion Units in 2020-21.
  • It will try to add 6 GW of solar in a year leading up to 2024
  • The renewable arm has a high probability of being hived off as a separate public firm in the future.

NTPC’s revised 60 GW renewable energy plan by FY32 was just one of the many interesting announcements and information pieces shared by the group’s Director (finance) A.K. Gautam at the online conference call with analysts following Q4 results. We bring you some of its highlights.

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Gautam added that 2884 MW of solar projects including ongoing projects of NTPC REL are presently under implementation and 3298 MW are under various stages of tendering.

Asked about  a year wise capacity addition plan for renewables, he shared this vision: FY21 – 1 GW, FY22 – 3 GW, FY23 – 8 GW, FY24 – 14 GW cumulatively. This means that by 2024, the PSU expects to have 14 GW of solar capacity in place, with 5 and 6 GW each added in the final two years to 2024.

He also mentioned that grid restrictions caused a significant loss of over 122 billion units in power production for the group’s coal units, as compared to total production of 314 billion units during the year.

He recounted several steps taken by NTPC towards clean energy in the past fiscal year, such as the signing of an MoU between DVC and NTPC Renewable Energy Limited for setting up a floating solar PV park and projects in the reservoirs under the command areas of DVC in Jharkhand and West Bengal. These projects are under the UMREPP and CPSU schemes of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, GoI.

On the international front, Gautam reminded the participants that Cuba had also appointed the company as PMC for 900 MW solar park. With this, the total capacity under implementation is now 1785 MW, including earlier secured 285 MW with Republic of Togo. NVVN, their trading subsidiary, has signed a MoU with South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) for implementing roof top solar project(s) and 20 MW ground mounted solar project along with charging infrastructure development, he said. NVVN also traded power worth over 18.5 Billion Units during the year.

In April this year, CIL NTPC Urja Pvt. Limited (CNUPL), a joint venture of major PSUs NTPC and CIL (Coal India Limited), bagged its first assignment of project coordination for setting up a 50 MW Solar Power Project in Nigahi Coal Mine of Northern Coalfields Limited (NCL). NTPC will act as Project Management Consultant for this solar project.

Besides Mr. Gautam, Mr. D.K. Patel, Director (Human Resources); Mr. Ramesh Babu V, Director (Operations); Mr. C.K. Mondol, Director (Commercial); and Mr. U.K. Bhattacharya, Director (Projects) also responded to questions from the analysts.

A  question was raised on how even with the revised targets, the firm would be at 40% renewable and 60% thermal capacity out of a total of 160 GW in a decade’s time, thus not meeting various ESG funds’ criteria. The management responded that NTPC already has a wholly owned subsidiary for renewables, which is now operational, and even indicated that it might be listed separately in the future. At the same time as a 100% subsidiary, it continues to get the benefit of the lower financing costs of the parent firm.

On the 12 GW CPSU tender, the last date for which has has been postponed to June 30, 2021, the NTPC management said that they are looking at bidding for close to 5000 MW in the upcoming tender.

Finally, on its approach to Renewables EPC as its portfolio size grows, the PSU made it clear that they would be looking to change to ensure the best realisations, including consolidated EPC with a single player. Solar O&M is already being done in-house, an indication that it will expand and continue in the future too.

The management also informed the participants that for FY22, NTPC has a domestic thermal capacity addition target of 2370 MW on standalone basis and another 1860 MW at its group companies. While the major solar plants would likely come up in Gujarat and Rajasthan, the company is also eyeing Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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