The Delhi government is mulling to convert the coal-based Rajghat Power House into a waste-to-energy plant.
The proposal comes at a time when the Union Ministry of Power has prepared a cabinet note for amending the Electricity Act, 2003, for inclusion of buying power generated from municipal solid wastes.
The thermal power plant at Rajghat, which is operated by Delhi government’s Indraprastha Power Generation Company Limited (IPGCL), has been shut for over eight months now, not only because it is a major source of pollution in the city but also because discoms have stopped buying electricity from it. Sources in the power department have indicated that the Aam Aadmi Party government has been juggling with the fate of the power house which ironically, is just a few metres away from the Delhi Secretariat.
“The idea initially was to convert it into a solar power plant. But, since the defunct Indraprastha power house has already been planned for turning it into a ground-based solar power system, we are looking for alternatives for Rajghat plant. The proposal of converting it into a waste-to-energy plant was floated in a recent meeting,” said a senior government official. Also, building a solar power plant is more expensive than a waste-to-energy plant, he added.
Delhi produces a mammoth 8,360 tons per day (TPD) of municipal sold waste and surprisingly, the city has only one operational plant till date.
The 1,950 MTD capacity plant in Okhla is the only operational plant, while two others in Ghazipur and Narela are under installation.
“Delhi need more waste to energy plants as the generation of municipal solid waste is only increasing with each passing year. So, the idea is feasible but we will have to consult experts before finalizing anything,” said Delhi’s Power Minister Satyendar Jain.
The officials added that the decision, if taken, would also be in tandem with the latest change in the electricity act planned by the MoP.
According to the cabinet note finalised by the ministry, it will be mandatory for power distribution companies to buy 100 per cent of electricity generated from municipal solid waste.
The Act as of now provides for purchase of electricity from only two renewable energy sources — wind and solar.