The proposed 140 megawatt (mw) integrated solar combined cycle (iscc) power plant, coming up in Mathania near Jodhpur in Rajasthan, has already undergone many changes (see: Down To Earth, Vol 9, No 24, May 15, 2001). Now it is going in for a fuel switch-over. The Rajasthan State Power Corporation Limited (rspcl) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Gas Authority of India Ltd (gail) for supply of natural gas to the plant. The plant planned half a decade ago was initially expected to generate 105 mw of power using naphtha as fuel and 35 mw from the solar thermal process. Now naphtha is being replaced by natural gas. "The increasing cost of naphtha has forced rspcl to explore other fuel options," said a professor at Centre for Energy Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. "The iscc power plant -- a demonstration project -- is the only one of its kind in the world," said another expert. The project's cost is Rs 872 crore to be borne mainly by the Global Environment Facility, the German government and Union ministry of non-conventional energy sources.
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