PRESS RELEASE: According to the company, this is the first solar power plant in any iron ore mine in the country. The project, executed by Tata Power Solar, will help in reducing CO2 emissions by about 3,000t/y.
T V Narendran, managing director at Tata Steel India and SEA, called the solar power plant’s inauguration a major achievement for Tata Steel. He added: “We have constantly looked at opportunities to exploit renewable energy sources. This is yet another milestone in our quest to become a sustainability-driven company, committed to exploring clean energy solutions. Renewable energy is the best way of mitigating the impact of climate change."
Set up at a cost of 35 crore rupees (US$5.5 million), the initiative is aimed at addressing climate change issues and other demands on natural resources for the company’s captive use around its mining locations. Synergy between three Tata companies — Tata Steel, Tata Power Solar and Tata Power Trading Co — was instrumental in shaping the project into reality. With Tata Steel as the sole buyer of all electricity at a contracted tariff, this partnership demonstrates Tata Steel’s commitment to climate action and voice support for supporting a strong outcome at the UN Climate Change Conference Paris 2015 (COP 21).
Highlighting the importance of the project, Ashish Khanna, executive director and CEO at Tata Power Solar, said: “We are very glad to execute this project, as it represents a huge step towards bringing the sun’s clean, sustainable energy as a part of a hybrid system which has grid power as well as fossil fuel as an option. This project epitomises new technologies for a sustainable and continuous power requirement, and such plants demonstrate how energy needs of the manufacturing sector can be met through clean and renewable sources, like solar, and has the potential to take usage of solar energy to new heights.”
Sanjeev Mehra, managing director at Tata Power Trading Co, said: “We are pleased to have partnered with Tata Steel on this strategic asset investment. Such unique hybrid solar power plant would help in providing reliable and consistent power supply to the industry. Moreover, it helps in contributing towards Tata Power group vision of increasing footprints in the renewable sector."
Solar modules convert solar radiation into electricity, which is converted through inverters to AC power at suitable voltage and then fed to the utility grid with net metering facility for accounting of the solar electricity. In case of complete outage of grid, the solar plant has the capability to synchronise with existing DG bus at processing plant Noamundi and continue operation.
The plant covers 19 acres (7.7ha) of land at an elevated reclaimed mining hill with ample undulations and a very rocky terrain. Solar lights have been used for boundary and area lighting around the solar plant. The selected site has a potential of 4.5MW solar power generation.
A rainwater harvesting system has been set up to collect all surface run off from rains and module cleaning activities to serve as make-up water and minimise module cleaning water requirement. Horticulture has been planned under the solar panels that will add to the aesthetic value and will reduce cleaning water requirement by binding the loose top soil.
Tata Steel concluded that it has completed a vital milestone in its quest to becoming a sustainability-driven company, committed to exploring clean energy solutions as a major step towards energy security problems in India.