In a bid to reduce carbon footprint, Tata Steel has commissioned a solar power plant at its iron ore mines in Noamundi.

The company has invested ₹35 crore to set up the 3MW solar power plant, which is the first of its kind in any iron ore mine in the country. Executed by Tata Power Solar, the project will serve the company's captive requirement around its mining locations and will help reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emission by about 3,000 tonnes per annum.

The site, which covers 19 acres of land at an elevated reclaimed mining hill, has a potential of 4.5MW solar power generation. Tata Steel will be the sole buyer at a contracted tariff.

In case of complete outage of grid, the solar plant also has the capability to synchronise with existing DG bus at processing plant in Noamundi and continue operation, according to the company. A rain water harvesting system has been set-up to collect all surface run-off from rains and module cleaning activities to serve as make-up water and minimise module cleaning water requirement.

Tata Solar Power Executive Director and CEO Ashish Khanna said the project "represents a huge step towards bringing the sun's clean, sustainable energy as part of a hybrid system which has grid power as well as fossil fuel as an option."