“250-MW solar project in Purulia soon”

West Bengal plans to set up a 250-MW solar project in Purulia at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,400 crore, said Manish Gupta, Minister for Power and Non-Conventional Energy Sources.“The largest solar project in the country will feed the 900-MW Purulia pumped-storage project of the State electricity distribution utility,” said Mr. Gupta during an energy conclave in the city organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Eastern Region.

Around 40 per cent funds are going to be sourced from the Union government’s clean energy fund and the rest from other sources.

Two more projects

Mr. Gupta also disclosed that two more pumped-storage projects – 1,000 MW each at Turga and Bandu in Ayodhya Hills in Purulia – would be commissioned soon.

Each would cost Rs 6,000 to Rs. 7,000 crore, the Minister said, adding that each of such projects would have captive mega solar power projects in the long run.

Mr. Gupta also spoke of the need for immediate reforms in the coal sector. “Coal prices are increasing putting enormous pressure on consumers. We need serious reforms in the coal sector. Even if we fully exploit the coal reserves, it will not last more than 30 to 40 years. Renewable sources are the only solution,” Mr. Gupta said.

Neerja Mathur, Chairperson, Central Electricity Authority, said per capita consumption of power is seen as the index of growth and health of a country’s economy. “Capacity addition is a must to make sure every citizen in the country has access to clean electricity at an affordable price.”

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