Coal India Limited (CIL), billed as the worlds largest producer of coal, is the unlikely developer of a 200 MW solar PV project in India. It is a sign of the shifting energy mix in India, as the country strives to meet the ambitious targets that have been set for PV installation.
CIL entered a BSE filing, stating that it had signed two agreements with Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI) for a 200 MW solar project in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Two of its subsidiaries, Northern Coalfields Limited and Eastern Coalfields Limited, will each realize 100 MW of the project, with investment of an estimated Rs 650 crores (US$96 million) for each one.
Although CIL is still ramping up its mining operations, the company has started to expand into the solar PV industry. Earlier in the year it announced that it would launch an 800 MW tender for solar projects, as it looks to build its solar portfolio.
Although an unlikely partner for the solar industry, PV is on a high in India at the moment, resulting in a whole variety of companies trying to get a piece of the action. This year, estimates for PV installation in India range from between 3.5 GW to 4.8 GW, as the country strives to meet the countrys target of having 100 GW of PV installed by 2022.