Transitioning from Coal to Solar, NLC’s investment in Renewable’s

India is a country taking great strides towards sustainable development and in my recent trip; I found various examples of this.

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I visited Neyveli, a small town nestled in between green farmlands in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India. Once there, my cousin was keen on taking me to see the newly developing solar farms on the perimeter of the town. It fills my heart to see such support for my interests from the people close to me and so we set off.

I expected a small area of land with a number of panels bolted to the ground, inside a concrete compound. However, as we neared the area I was amazed by the vast number of solar panels glistening under the setting sun, expanding over acres of land.

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Upon doing some reading, I found that this was a project initiated by the NLC.

NLC (Neyveli Lignite Corporation) is a government enterprise involved in the production of electricity using lignite based thermal power plants.

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NLC thermal plant in the background

In recent times, NLC has started to make great investments into the renewable sector. This project specifically, is expected to generate 130 MW of solar power using the panels that expand over 650 acres, through a NLC partnership with BHEL and Jackson Engineers Ltd. The project was initiated post the success of the 10MW pilot solar project generation near the Neyveli Air Strip.

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The lignite company’s expansion into renewable energy is in line with the Government of India’s National Solar Mission to develop solar power plants generating up to 100,000 MW by 2022. This also integrates with Goal number 7 in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – to provide affordable and clean energy.

The chairman of NLC stated that they have diversified into the renewable sector, as coal might not be sustainable in the long run. Similar solar projects have started showing up in other parts of India, such as the solar canal project I noticed in Vadodara.

This portrays the commitment that the Indian government has towards building a sustainable and cleaner future and steps towards achieving the 2022 national renewable energy target.

Read more about NLC’s solar project

Read more about India’s National Solar Mission 

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