MUMBAI: State-owned power producer NTPC is looking at setting up ultra mega solar parks across the country and currently has identified Kutch in Gujarat for a 5,000 MW Park at an estimated cost of Rs 20,000 crore, Gurdeep Singh, chairman and managing director, NTPC told reporters on Monday. Two to three locations are being examined for a ultra mega park where other players would also be encouraged to come and set up capacities, Singh added.
The company is exploring the possibility of setting up another ultra mega solar park in Rajasthan, but the location and size are yet to be identified. Ladakh is also another region where a large solar project can come up, but the issue there is in connecting the capacity to the grid since local demand was small, Singh said.
NTPC is also looking at the possibility of going for a solar project without a long term power purchase agreement, trying out power production on a merchant basis. “We are not averse to selling to anyone… (we are) exploring how much we can go without PPAs,” Singh said. Selling on merchant basis may bring higher returns than through PPAs, and the company wants at least some capacity to be on a merchant basis, he added.
Coal based power plants are likely to continue ruling the roost for another two to three decades, but the incremental capacity addition in thermal is going to be less than renewables, Singh said, adding, “We target to have 30,000 MW plus capacity of renewable power by 2030”.