Tata to set up 28.8MW solar plant in Maharashtra, while Reliance is silent

By Editor


Greentech Lead Asia: Energy giant Tata Power has announced plans to set up a 28.8 MW solar plant near Satara, Maharashtra this fiscal, Economic Times reported.

The announcement comes at a time when most Indian power companies have failed to achieve their renewable energy target for 2012.

Tata will spend over 230 crore this fiscal for this project, according to the report.

The Satara plant will be the second solar plant from Tata in Maharashtra.  Tata currently has a 3-MW project at Mulshi in Maharashtra and a 25-MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project at Mithapur in Gujarat. The company has also partnered with Australia’s Sunengy to build the first floating solar plant at Mulshi.

Tata has also commissioned a 1-MW grid connected rooftop solar power plant in Delhi.

By 2020 Tata Power plans to produce 20-25 percent of energy from clean power sources.

Tata will also be adding 200 MW of wind energy in this fiscal. Currently the company has an installed capacity of 376 MW from plants spread across four states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Despite the flamboyant commitment to clean energy, top energy companies have not taken any major initiative to pursue renewable energy.

Earlier this year Reliance Industries’ Mukesh Ambani said the company will shift its focus from fossil fuels to clean energy sources like solar, wind and even shale gas. However, no advancements have been made in this regard.

Meanwhile Greenpeace recently revealed a report that stated that 22 states in India failed to meet their Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) targets, which lead to loss more than 25 percent electricity that was expected to be generated from renewable energy sources in 2012.

The failure of the states to oblige to the RPO, according to Greenpeace, is the loose policy framework and lack of strict compliance measures. According to Greenpeace regulators failed to penalize the defaulters or implement the directives in poor performing states.

Both power utilities Tata Power and Reliance Infrastructure failed to meet their solar renewable purchase obligation (RPO) targets for the last two completed fiscals. According to them, this happened due to delay in commissioning of solar plants that they had entered into purchase agreements and non-availability of solar RECs for trading on the exchanges.

According to the Electricity Act, 2003, both private utilities are liable for penalty if they do not meet their targets in this fiscal.

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