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Revolutionizing Energy: Abandoned Mines As Catalysts For Sustainable Power

By - King Stubb & Kasiva on December 11, 2023

Coal India Limited, in a significant stride towards sustainable energy, has identified more than twenty abandoned mines suitable for pumped storage projects (“PSPs”). The objective of the proposal, as discussed in a review meeting on diversification presided over by the Coal Ministry Secretary, is to convert decorated coal mines into hydroelectric power plants. This progressive methodology is consistent with the Ministry’s dedication to expanding the portfolio of energy sources and advancing sustainable growth in the coal sector.

By utilising gravity to produce electricity via water, pumped storage power plants provide a twofold technique for dependable power delivery. Through the strategic utilisation of solar energy during daylight hours and hydroelectric power during nighttime, these initiatives offer a novel and environmentally sustainable approach to fulfilling energy requirements.

Additionally, NLC India Limited has commenced feasibility studies for pump storage projects, joining the bandwagon. Consultations with stakeholders, including research institutions, state governments, and business organisations, are currently in progress to ensure collaboration and ensure the successful implementation of the project. The instruction to select supplementary locations serves to emphasise the dedication to broadening the scope and influence of these revolutionary endeavours.


The utilisation of abandoned mines for pump storage projects offers economic benefits and presents an opportunity for public-private collaborations, thereby exemplifying a flexible and dynamic strategy. By utilising more than two hundred de-coaled mines situated in coal-producing regions, this endeavour not only tackles the problem of mine abandonment but also establishes the coal industry as a significant participant in the dynamic energy landscape of India.

As the coal sector finalises the business models, which include engineering, procurement, and construction, in conjunction with stakeholders, it demonstrates a commitment to sustainable and responsible practices. The incorporation of alternative energy sources underscores a comprehensive strategy, demonstrating the industry’s flexibility and contribution to worldwide endeavours aimed at shifting towards more environmentally friendly energy alternatives.


In the coal sector, the novel application of abandoned mines for pumped storage projects signifies a paradigm shift. By leveraging the respective capabilities of public and private entities, this collaborative endeavour can establish a paradigm shift in the realm of sustainable energy efforts. The progression of these initiatives not only enhances the economic sustainability of defunct mines but also establishes India as a leader in environmentally sustainable energy methodologies.

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