Electrical Monitor

Godawari Power commissions biomass power plant

EM NEWS BUREAUThursday, December 09, 2010, 17:12 Hrs  [IST]

Godawari Power & Ispat Ltd, part of the Hira Group, has commissioned a large biomass power project at the Siltara Industrial Complex in Raipur district of Chhattisgarh. Commercial operations began on November 1. This 20-mw power plant marks the entry of Godawari in the renewable energy sector, according to information available. The steelcentric company already has a 53-mw wasteheat based power plant that is attached to the company's steel plant at Raipur.

Biomass-based power projects, mainly running on rice husk, are gaining prominence in Chhattisgarh. Speaking to Electrical Monitor over phone from Raipur, S.M. Deshpande, Additional Director, Chhattisgarh Renewable Energy Development Agency, said that the western state currently has 200 mw of biomass-based power capacity coming from around 24 plants. "Around 100 mw of new capacity is under construction from 13-14 projects," he observed. Explaining the role of biomass power, Deshpande observed that Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board currently purchases 5 per cent of its total power of 2,000 mw from biomass power plants, at rates prescribed by Chhattisgarh State Electricity Regulatory Commission.

Discussing the commercial viability of biomass- based power plants, Deshpande felt that plants with a minimum capacity of 7.5 mw are economically viable. Apart from selling power to the state electricity board, developers could sell power generated to third parties under the "open access" policy. Apart from biomass power, CREDA is also promoting other forms of renewable energy applications like small hydropower and more recently, solar power, the CREDA official noted.