Hindalco Industries, the metals flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group, is planning to commission a 24 Megawatt solar power plant in Odisha, reported sources aware of the matter. The INR 150-crore project will come up at the company’s aluminium smelter-power plant site at Lapanga in Sambalpur district.
The solar power generated will be utilized by Hindalco for metal production under renewable purchase obligation (RPO). The leading aluminium producer has approached the Industrial Promotion & Investment Corporation of Odisha Ltd (Ipicol) for approving the project. The investment promotion agency has sought regulatory clearance Green Energy Development Corporation of Odisha Ltd (Gedcol), the source added. Gedcol is the nodal agency responsible for implementing renewable energy projects in the state.
Hindalco Industries under Aditya Aluminium runs a smelter-power plant complex at Lapanga with 360,000 tonnes smelter supported by a 6×150 MW (900 Mw) coal based captive power. The new project will be spread over 120 acres of land available with the company.
India’s coastal state of Odisha receives an average solar radiation of 5.5kWh/sqm area annually (for an estimated 300 clear, sunny days) with an average CUF (capacity utilisation factor) ranging from 15 to 17 per cent across all the districts.
Keeping in view of the prospects, the state government has set a target to generate 2,200 Mw of solar power by 2022. It plans to develop multiple land based solar power plants and projects utilising water bodies for achieving the target.
Odisha hosts a high capacity of captive power plants (CPP), as per the state’s Renewable Policy-2016. These are basically obligated entities that are required to meet the solar purchase obligation (SPO) specified by the Odisha State Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC).
The state has mandated that the obligated entities either set up their own solar power plants or buy power from the state projects in order to meet their SPOs.
Hindalco’s proposed solar park is expected to add to the state’s renewable power generation endeavours thereby helping it to achieve the 2,200 Mw target by 2022.