The 1,980-MW Talwandi Sabo thermal power plant, whose first unit became operational on Monday, is the "greenest" power plant in the state as the project developer, Vedanta Group, used environment-friendly technologies to ensure negligible emission of fly ash into the air.
"The Talwandi Sabo plant is dedicated towards building a greener environment by adopting appropriate technology and continuous monitoring measures," a company spokesman said.
Fly ash has been the major pollutant released by any thermal power plant. As part of its plans to prevent the release of pollutants in the environment, the company has used the high-concentration slurry disposal (HCSD) system whereby ash, which is a fine powder, will be converted into a semi-solid paste form, which upon solidification will take the shape like that of dried concrete/cement, thereby locking fine fly ash powder into a concrete solid form.
This process also consumes much less water than the conventional systems, he said.
In the conventional plants, the ash generated is mixed with water and disposed of into the ash ponds. After some time, water gets evaporated, leaving behind only ash, which is again in a powdered form. This ash gets released into the environment just like dust.
The Talwandi Sabo plant has also installed bag filters as additional filtration which will ensure no particle of more than 50 microns is released in the air, an official said.
The fabric filters of the hybrid electrostatic precipitators (ESP) would ensure that the ash particles are not released into the atmosphere, thus making the discharge of ash particles almost nil.
The company has converted 700 acres of land out of 2,100 acres into a green belt, where more than 5 lakh trees would come up, he said.