Coal India Limited (CIL) announced that it has approved the creation of a special purpose vehicle to set up an integrated solar wafer manufacturing facility in India. Additionally, a CIL subsidiary, Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) will set up an integrated aluminium complex as well. CIL will also be starting a new and renewable energy business vertical. The project is expected to boost India’s solar power and aluminium value chain.
In 2018, CIL commissioned the Coal Vision 2030 report wherein it was emphasised that coal-fired power could be substituted by solar energy in the country. Given the increasing threat of climate change, short-term price movements, and global funding focus on renewables; CIL has been increasing its solar portfolio, including large-scale solar, floating solar, and rooftop solar projects. CIL announced an investment of $763 million by March 2024 to develop 14 solar power projects. This investment will fund nearly 66 per cent of the total capacity of 3 GW of rooftop and ground-mounted solar projects. A joint venture with NLC has also been planned to fund the rest of its solar expansion plans.
A subsidiary of CIL, Bharat Coking Coal Limited, in November 2020 had invited bids to develop 1.2 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar projects in Jharkhand. In September 2020, Coalfields Limited, a CIL subsidiary, announced its plans to set up 80 MW of ground-mounted solar projects in the current fiscal year of 2020-21.