CHENNAI: In a first for Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation, Mettur Thermal Power Station owned by it would soon start harnessing solar energy.
The bids have been invited for the setting up of a 50 kilowatt (kW) grid-connected ground-mounted solar plant nearby the switchyard. Another bid has been called to install grid-connected rooftop-solar panels of 30 kW capacity at the Central office of MTPS I, 10 kW at New IB and three kW at Chief Engineer Residential Board Quarters.
Sources in the Tangedco said that this is the first time solar panels are being installed in its thermal power stations. “In the available space, we are going to install solar panels on the ground and rooftop. We have invited two separate bids and once it was completed, we will think of adding more,” sources added.
The solar plant installation at the MTPS has come amid the Union Ministry of Power identifying 81 thermal units in the country, including Tangedco’s Mettur, North Chennai and Tuticorin to replace with solar energy by 2026.
As per the trajectory released by the Power Ministry, 430 million units of MTPS I should be replaced with 223 MW capacity of solar while 112 MUs of MTPS II with 58 MW. About 250 MUs of North Chennai Thermal Power Station would be replaced with 130 MW of solar power while 253 MUs of Tuticorin TPS with 131 MW of solar.
A senior Tangedco official said that it has sought details of land availability for setting up solar plants in the thermal power stations. “Availability of the land is critical for the solar installation. For a one-megawatt solar plant, it requires five acres of land. Most of the thermal power stations do not have that much land,” the official said, adding that Tangedco has already in the process of identifying land for setting up of 4,000 MW solar plant in the state.