THE Government on Friday said more than 20 abandoned mines have been identified by state-owned CIL for evaluation and feasibility study for pump storage projects. The information was shared by Coal India Ltd (CIL) during a diversification review meeting held by Coal Secretary Amrit Lal Meena. State-owned NLCIL has also taken up a feasibility study on pump storage projects, the Coal Ministry said in a statement. Pumped storage power plants use gravity to generate electricity using water that has previously been pumped from a reservoir in the pit into an upper reservoir.
During periods of low demand, the water is pumped into the higher reservoir. When demand is high, the water is released to drive a turbine in a powerhouse and feed electricity into the grid. Over 200 de-coaled mines with huge land area are available in coal producing areas. Many of these mines are feasible for pump storage projects. Further, direction has been given for stakeholders consultation with agencies who may be interested in undertaking such projects and to identify additional sites that can be used for setting up of pump storage projects, the coal ministry said in a statement.
“The business model like EPC and PPP may be finalised in consultation with stakeholders and such projects may be implemented in collaboration with various stakeholders, including state Governments, private players and research institutions,” it said. The coal ministry is embarking on a plan to develop such projects in de-coaled coal mines, leveraging the economic advantages of a vast land bank and economic viability. The aim of the plan is to diversify towards alternative source of energy. Through pump storage projects, it is planned to utilise solar energy to develop hydroelectricity promoting sustainable development in the coal sector. This initiative aims to harness solar energy during the day and generation of hydro-electricity at night.