• NTPC may pitch in to solve power crisis

    A proposal on generating 175 MW of solar power at the NTPC Kayamkulam unit will be discussed by the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) with the officials of the Central-public sector unit this week. The NTPC had submitted the proposal to the KSEB last month.

    A key issue pertaining to scarcity of power in the State can be resolved if the talks succeed. Speculations on the future of the Central PSU at Kayamkulam could also be set at rest if the project materialises, sources in the industry said.

    The NTPC has demonstrated its capability to produce solar power on the premises of the thermal power plant at Kayamkulam. A floating solar power plant of 100 kWp, the largest of its kind in the country, was commissioned last month. Apart from the floating solar plant, the public sector company is producing power from rooftop solar project there.

    The cost of solar power generation has come down drastically on account of modern technology. The rates of solar power generated at the Kayamkulam unit could be competitive, said NTPC unit General Manager Kunal Gupta. The rates could be around Rs. 3.50 per unit.

    The KSEB had avoided NTPC Kayamkulam for its daily power needs due to higher production cost owing to the high prices of the feedstock naphtha.

    With the solar power rates reaching a competitive level, the prospects are considered bright for signing a power purchase agreement between the KSEB and the NTPC.

    The NTPC offer for producing 175 MW could be considered a viable alternative to the proposal on the Athirappilly hydel project, mired in controversy. Antonio Gates Womens Jersey

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