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THDCL forays into solar energy with Rs 8 billion investment

According to reports, after hydro and thermal power, THDC India Ltd, a mini ratna company, is diversifying into solar energy business by investing Rs 800 crore in Uttar Pradesh.

The Rishikesh-headquartered company is holding talks with the Uttar Pradesh government to harness 100 Mw of solar power. “We are in advance stage of negotiations with the Uttar Pradesh government for harnessing solar power,” said D V Singh, director (Technical) THDCIL, a joint venture of the Centre and the UP government.

THDCIL, a core hydropower company, is diversifying into coal and solar power. It has signed an MoU with UP to set up the 1,320-Mw Khurja super thermal power plant in Bulandshahar area.

This will be the THDCIL’s maiden foray into thermal power business. The company had decided that it would enter into other power businesses besides its core business of hydropower.

Initially, the THDCIL wants to make foray into solar power business from Uttar Pradesh only. “We are starting from Uttar Pradesh. Later, we can see more such opportunities in other states,” said Singh.

On technology front, the THDCIL is in the process of signing an agreement with the state-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) for getting solar panels and other related technologies required for harnessing solar power. “BHEL is already manufacturing solar panels at its Bangalore plant. We will hire the technology from BHEL,” said Singh.

THDCIL’s decision to enter into solar and thermal power business came after the continuous ennui in the hydropower sector due to the heightened environmental and religious concerns. Few years ago, the government cancelled four major hydel projects that created complete sluggishness in the hydropower sector. A couple of hydel projects of the THDCIL including 444 Mw Vishnugaad Piplakoti are awaiting clearances from the center.

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