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NLC forays into hybrid solar power in Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd, a Navratna public sector enterprise known for mining and power generation, is venturing into the field of renewable energy sector by harnessing solar energy in various parts of our country. Ministry of new and renewable energy has devised an action plan for Andaman and Nicobar Islands towards achieving its programme of green initiatives. NLC has been assigned the establishment of solar based power plants in Andaman with a view to phase out the usage of the diesel generation sets.

NLC, a fore runner in realising the programmes of MNRE, has proposed to install the solar power plants to the tune of about 50 mw at Attam Pahar, South Andaman and at Kishorie Nagar, North Andaman. These projects will be established by NLC under the scheme of MNRE which provides 40 per cent of the capital cost as subsidy. In this regard, a Memorandum of  Understanding has been signed earlier this month in New Delhi between NLC, MNRE and Andaman & Nicobar Administration.

As a part of the actions initiated jointly by NLC and Andaman & Nicobar Administration, the requisite land has been identified in Attam Pahar, Garacharma and the site preparation activities are under way for installing 20 mw solar power project. To mark the start of the project activities Lt Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands A K Singh laid the foundation stone for this 20 mw solar project on Monday in the presence of ANI Member of Parliament Bishnu Pada Ray, NLC Chairman and Managing Director Sarat Kumar Acharya, ANI Chief Secretary Anindo Majumdar, NLC Director (Planning & Projects) P Selvakumar, ANI Principal Secretary (Power) Arun Baroka.

CMD S K Acharya in his address, pointed out that this 20 mw solar power project is proposed to be installed with sufficient capacity of battery energy storage system to cater the power needs of South Andaman with a fairly flat and firm power throughout the day time and the evening peak demand period. “This arrangement will considerably reduce diesel consumption for power generation thereby limiting the environment pollution. The cost of power generation will also be less compared to the current diesel based power generation in Andaman.” 

Acharya also informed that a 30 mw solar project will be established in the North Andaman which will be linked with a pumped storage system of Kalpong Hydro Power Station. This is the first of its kind in India wherein a part of the solar power generated from this project will be utilised for pumping of water from lower reservoir to upper reservoir in the daytime. This will ensure operation of the hydro power plant throughout the year.   
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