SAIL’s Bhilai Steel Plant To Have Chhattisgarh’s First Floating Solar Plant

Highlights :

  • The 15 MW plant will serve the energy needs of BSP exclusively
SAIL’s Bhilai Steel Plant To Have Chhattisgarh’s First Floating Solar Plant
The Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP), one of the oldest steel plants of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) that was started in 1955, has taken the lead with Chhattisgarh’s first 15-megawatt (MW) floating solar project in its Maroda-1 reservoir. The move is one of many efforts being initiated at the steel major to reduce its carbon footprint in the energy intensive steel making business..
Executing this project will be NTPC-SAIL Power Supply Company Limited (NSPCL), a 50:50 joint venture company of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and SAIL that was set up in 2001 to provide power supplies to SAIL’s Bhilai, Durgapur and Rourkela Steel plants, all in East India.
The Maroda reservoir is spread across 2.1 square kilometers with a water storage capacity of 19 cubic millimetres (MM3). The water stored in the Maroda-I reservoir not only feeds the plant but also the township.
As the first floating solar project in Chhattisgarh, the power from this floating solar plant, estimated at 34.26 million units annually, will be consumed by Bhilai Steel Plant as captive power. With a deadline of next year, the EPC contract for the project is expected to be awarded shortly.
The move comes even as floating solar plants have faced some unexpected setbacks, both at Nangal Pond reservoir in Himachal, and more publicly, at the Omkareshwar Floating solar plant in Madhya Pradesh.
PSU’s have been the forefront of establishing floating solar plants due to limited interest  from private sector developers who have preferred a wait and watch policy, besides being deterred by the risk of costs turning out higher than projected due to technical challenges. That is one reason most of the significant floating solar plants in operation today are owned by PSU firms like NTPC, WBEDCL etc.

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