State-run Coal India (CIL) will invest Rs 6,000 crore to set up 1,000 MW of solar power generation capacity over the next five to six years, according to a senior company executive. “We will fund 70% of the project cost through debt, which will come mostly from banks, while the rest will be through internal resources,” said the executive, who did not wish to be named adding that land for the plants will be provided by the states.As a first step, Coal India has prepared a detailed project report for setting up 200 MW of solar generation capacity.
The coal producer is also looking at setting up floating solar panels on water bodies that are formed when a mine is closed down. “We have firmed up the technology for setting up floating solar panels on the shallow sides of these lakes, while the technology for setting up such panels on deep water is being worked out,” said another company executive. “1 MW of solar capacities on such water bodies will cost around Rs 4-5 crore and will require close to five acres of water surface.
Coal India has numerous water bodies under its command areas and we intend to use them for setting up floating solar panels,” he said. This will be the first time in several years that Coal India will be raising debt from the market. The World Bank had sanctioned a $1-billion loan for Coal India in the 1990s which has long been paid back.