Sinlung /
06 February 2015

Northeast Gets its First Solar Power Plant

By: Sujit Chakraborty

Monarchak (Tripura):
North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) has commissioned a five-MW solar power plant at Monarchak in Tripura, which will be the biggest and the first of its kind in Northeast  India.

"We started generation of power from the solar power plant from Wednesday. The full (5-MW) commercial generation would start within a month after completing some technicalities," NEEPCO general manager SR Biswas said.

The solar power plant was commissioned at a cost of Rs.40 crore. The entire power from the plant would be transmitted to the Tripura power grid.

Biswas said NEEPCO will set up a 50-MW solar power plant in Madhya Pradesh and a two-MW plant in Lanka in Nagaon district of Assam. "As per the government policy, NEEPCO has initiated the process to set up more and more solar, non-conventional and renewable power plants in various parts of the country," he said.
 
Meanwhile, after a huge delay, the ONGC on Sunday night started supplying gas to NEEPCO's 101-MW capacity power plant in Monarchak, 70 km south of Tripura capital Agartala and just eight km from the Bangladesh border. NEEPCO, a mini-ratna company under the Union Power Ministry, has set up the Rs.9.5 billion (nearly $150 million) gas-based power plant in Monarchak.

Biswas said if the supply of gas from ONGC remains uninterrupted, the power project would start generation of electricity from March and the full commercial generation (101 MW) of power would start from August.

He said non-supply of gas by ONGC resulted in loss of Rs.5 crore a month. The foundation stone of the Monarchak power project was laid during the previous National Democratic Alliance government in March 2002 and the Tripura government allotted the required land to NEEPCO in 2003. By using the latest technology, the generation capacity of three existing power plants in Tripura will be augmented by around 70 MW without increasing fuel consumption.

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