The Ministry of Coal has planned to develop pump storage projects (PSP) in de-coaled coal mines, leveraging the economic advantages of vast land bank and economic viability.
The aim of the plan is to diversify towards alternative source of energy. Through PSPs, it is planned to utilise solar energy to develop hydro electricity promoting sustainable development in the coal sector. This initiative aims to harness the solar energy during the day and generation of hydro-electricity at night. According to Coal India Limited (CIL), more than 20 abandoned mines have been identified for evaluation and feasibility study for pump storage projects. PSPs use gravity to generate electricity using water that has previously been pumped from a reservoir in the pit into an upper reservoir at surface. 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. It is pertinent that over 200 de-coaled mines with huge land area are available in coal producing areas. Many of these mines are feasible for PSPs as lower reservoir, head of water and land are available.