POWER Notebook: New 1,600-MW Coal Plant in India; Low-Price Solar Deal in Idaho

Financing has reportedly been secured for a 1,600-MW coal-fired power plant in India’s eastern state of Jharkhand. Qatar’s Gulf Times newspaper reported April 6 that Power Finance Corp., a state-run lender in India, and its subsidiary REC approved a $1.5 billion loan for the project. The report said the new plant would be funded through loans and equity, with Power Finance and REC covering the entire cost of the project, which Bloomberg estimated at just more than $2.1 billion.

The plant is being designed to sell power to Bangladesh through a power purchase agreement with the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB). Adani Power Limited, part of India’s Adani Group, one of the world’s largest coal-mining companies, is building the plant. People familiar with the project reportedly said the plant is eligible for tax breaks, as India’s commerce ministry has designated the region as a special economic zone, and the plant as an export industrial facility. BPDB said Bangladesh currently gets about 56% of its power generation from natural gas, with oil and diesel providing most of the rest. Coal currently accounts for just 3% of the country’s generation.

The Bangladesh government has said it wants to increase the country’s use of coal-fired power, with plans for half the country’s generation to come from coal by 2030. It also plans to import more electricity from neighboring countries, increase its imports of liquefied natural gas, and develop renewable resources such as solar and wind. The new plant is expected to use imported coal, which Adani could source from its mines in Indonesia, Australia, or South Africa, according to reports.

Idaho Power Deal: Solar at 2.2 ¢/kWh

Idaho Power recently announced an agreement to buy 120 MW of solar energy at a price the utility said is among the lowest that has been publicly reported in the U.S. The utility signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with Idaho-based Jackpot Holdings to purchase the power at $21.75/MWh, or just less than 2.2 ¢/kWh. The deal takes advantage of a federal solar investment tax credit, which is scheduled to phase out in coming years.

The agreement also includes the possibility of Idaho Power buying power from a proposed expansion of the solar farm near Twin Falls, Idaho, at a slightly higher price. Idaho Power also could buy the solar plant. “Today’s announcement reflects Idaho Power’s commitment to resources that balance environmental stewardship with affordability and reliability,” Idaho Power President and CEO Darrel Anderson said on March 26. “This deal will provide energy that is not only clean, but is also at a cost that benefits our customers.”

The agreement will help Idaho Power replace generation from the North Valmy coal-fired plant in Nevada, which Idaho Power co-owns with NV Energy. Idaho Power has announced a plan to generate 100% of its power from “non-emitting” resources by 2045, and plans to divest its remaining coal-fired holdings at three plants, including North Valmy. The solar project will connect with an existing transmission line from the North Valmy plant.

Waste-to-Energy Plant Planned in Bataan

The provincial government of Bataan on April 5 said cocopower, a UK company, is behind a proposed 100-MW waste-to-energy power plant project in the Freeport area of Bataan, in Mariveles in the Philippines. Crisanta Garcia, vice governor of Bataan, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that cocopower CEO David Wood has secured $500 million in funding for the project and construction could start as early as May.

Garcia told the PNA, “It will be the first such technology converting solid wastes to energy in Bataan.” Wood told the PNA the plant would operate under a public-private partnership with little to no cost for the provincial government, other than providing about 37 acres of land for the project. Wood said the project would use Australian technology and is designed to replace coal-fired generation in Bataan.

“It is green energy to replace coal,” he said. “The technology will solve environmental problems.” Wood said it would need about 1,500 tons of garbage each day in the first, 50-MW phase of the project. Edgardo Rivera, CEO of Disruptive Corp., the company providing the plant’s technology and equipment, said the facility will comply with the Philippines’ Solid Waste Management Act.

POWER staff (@POWERmagazine).