Thermal Power Plant in India: Types, List of Major Thermal Power Plants

By K Balaji|Updated : November 16th, 2022

A thermal power plant, also called a combustion power plant, is a type of power station in which the heat energy gets converted into electrical energy. It helps to generate electricity through hydel, thermal (includes fossil fuel and nuclear fuel plants), wind power, solar (PV) etc. The type of thermal power plants in India primarily consists of coal, gas and, diesel, natural gas. The thermal power plant in India contributes more than 71% of the power generation in the country. Thermal power in India contributes to a total capacity of 221,802.59 MW.

The thermal power plants are operated by large power plants such as the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), THDC India Limited, Power Grid Corporation of India (POWER GRID), etc. It forms a crucial topic in the UPSC exam in Geography as well as Economics. In this article, we have discussed the major thermal power plants in India, their location, and more.

Table of Content

What is a Thermal Power Plant?

A thermal power plant is used to generate electricity. It uses a heat energy that is converted into electrical energy by burning a fuel. Fuel such as coal is burnt to produce a very high temperature which converts water into steam in a boiler. After that, high-pressure steam is passed on to create a force on the turbine that causes it to rotate at high speed.

Thermal Power Plant in India PDF

Thermal power plants are the backbone of a country that helps to generate megawatts of energy to sustain the rapid growth of urbanization and industrialization. Such energy is crucial to generate and supplying electric power as it can respond to the demand for power to generate larger output. More than half of the total electricity demand is met through thermal power plants.

Types of Thermal Power Plants

Thermal Power plants need fuel to generate electricity. The commercial use of the power plants is constructed on a large scale and designed for consistent operations. The different types of thermal power plants in India as well as around the world are as follows:

  • Coal-Fired
  • Gas
  • Diesel or Liquid fuel
  • Geothermal
  • Biomass
  • Waste Material

Factors used to Determine Location of Thermal Power Plant

A thermal power plant produces electricity using steam. Therefore, the location of the power plant should be in a place where there is the availability of resources that are needed to generate electricity, such as fuel, raw materials, etc. The selection of sites for nuclear power plants is made by considering socio-economic and engineering factors that affect the site, construction and operation of such facilities. We have listed down some of the important factors that influence the location of thermal power plants.

  • Terrain
  • Availability of Fuel, such as Coal
  • Availability of Water
  • Proximity to population centres
  • Availability of raw materials and supplies
  • Transportation facilities
  • Manpower supply
  • Infrastructure
  • Size of the site

List of Thermal Power Plants in India - State Wise

Thermal power plants are located in various states of India. The following table provides you with the state-wise list which will help students to find out the location of major thermal power plants in india.

List of Thermal Power Plants in India

State

Thermal Power Plant

Rajasthan

Anta Thermal Power Station

Rajwest Lignite Power Plant

Suratgarh Super Thermal Power Station

VS Lignite Power Plant

Barsingsar Lignite Power Plant

Chhabra Thermal Power Plant

Giral Lignite Thermal Power Station

West Bengal

Kolaghat Thermal Power Station

Bakreswar Thermal Power Station

Bandel Thermal Power Station

Mejia Thermal Power Station

Durgapur Thermal Power Plant

Durgapur Thermal Power Station

Farakka Super Thermal Power Station

Sagardighi Thermal Power Station

Santaldih Thermal Power Station

Odisha

Talcher Super Thermal Power Station

Vedanta Aluminum Company Captive Power Plant

IB Thermal Power Plant

Jharsuguda Thermal Power Plant

Hirakud Captive Power Plant

Tamil Nadu

Mettur Thermal Power Station

Neyveli Thermal Power Station

Ennore Thermal Power Station

North Chennai Thermal Power Station

Tuticorin Thermal Power Station

Uttar Pradesh

Anpara Thermal Power Station

Obra Thermal Power Station

Auraiya Thermal Power Station

Feroz Gandhi Unchahar Thermal Power Plant Harduaganj Thermal Power Station

National Capital Thermal Power Plant

Panki Thermal Power Station

Pariccha Thermal Power Station

Rihand Thermal Power Station

Rosa Thermal Power Station

Singrauli Super Thermal Power Station

Tanda Thermal Power Plant

Punjab

Guru Hargobind Thermal Power Plant

Guru Gobind Super Thermal Power Station

Maharashtra

Amravati Thermal Power Plant

Koradi Thermal Power Station

Nashik Thermal Power Station

Paras Thermal Power Station

Parli Thermal Power Station

Bhusawal Thermal Power Station

Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Plant

Khaperkheda Thermal Power Station

Tirora Thermal Power Plant

Trombay Thermal Power Station

Madhya Pradesh

Dada Dhuniwale Thermal Power Station

Sanjay Gandhi Thermal Power Station

Sant Singaji Thermal Power Plant

Amarkantak Thermal Power Station

Satpura Thermal Power Station

Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power Station

Karnataka

Bellary Thermal Power Station

Raichur Super Thermal Power Station

Udupi Thermal Power Plant

Jharkhand

Bokaro Thermal Power Station

Chandrapura Thermal Power Station

Patratu Thermal Power Station

Haryana

Gorakhpur Atomic Super Thermal Power Station

Deenbandhu Chottu Ram Super Thermal Power Station

Gujarat

Kawas Thermal Power Station

Kutch Lignite Thermal Power Station

Mundra Thermal Power Plant

Sabarmati Thermal Power Station

Sikka Thermal Power Station

Gandhinagar Thermal Power Station

Jhanor-Gandhar Thermal Power Station

Surat Lignite Thermal Power Station

Ukai Thermal Power Station

Wanakbori Thermal Power Station

Delhi

Badarpur Thermal Power Plant

Indraprastha Power Station

Rajghat Power Station

Chattisgarh

Bhilai Expansion Power Plant

Korba Super Thermal Power Plant

Sipat Thermal Power Plant

Dr Shyama Prakash Mukharjee Thermal Power Plant Hasdeo Thermal Power Station

Jindal Megha Thermal Power Plant

Bihar

Kahalgaon Super Thermal Power Station

Muzaffarpur Thermal Power Plant

Barh Super Thermal Power Station

Barauni Thermal Power Station

Nabinagar Super Thermal Power Station

Andhra Pradesh

Sri Damodaram Sanjeeviah Thermal Power Station NTPC Ramagundam

Simhadri Super Thermal Power Plant

Dr Narla Taatarao Thermal Power Station

Major Thermal Power Plants in India

More than 71% of India’s electricity is generated through these plants where the contribution of coal-based ones is 85%. The major thermal power plants in India are coal-fired plants. Five of them are owned and operated by the state fund of the National Thermal Power Corporation. Below is the list of the largest thermal power plants in India.

Vindhyachal Thermal Power Station, Madhya Pradesh:

The Vindhyachal Power Station is the biggest thermal power plant in India at present. This power plant is found in the Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh and runs on coal. Vindhyachal Thermal Power Plant is owned and operated by the govt. owned PSU, NTPC, with a capacity of 4,760 MW. The coal used in it is mined from the NCL-operated Nigahi mine, while the water is from the discharge canal of Singrauli Super Thermal Power Station. This plant began its construction in 1982, and its first unit was commissioned in 1987.

Mundra Thermal Power Station, Gujarat:

Mundra Thermal Power Station is India’s second-biggest thermal power plant in India which is in the Kutch district of Gujarat. It is a coal-based plant for which the coal is imported from Bunyu, which is in Indonesia. It is India’s 2nd largest power plant and the world’s 11th-largest single-location coal-based plant. The power generation capacity of this plant is 4,620MW. Adani Power is its owner. This power plant has 9 generating units. The first unit of Mundra Thermal Power Plant was commissioned in 2009 for the first time, while the last was in 2012.

Sasan Ultra Mega Power Plant, Madhya Pradesh:

Sasan Ultra Mega power plant has an installed capacity of 3,960MW with an installed capacity of 3,960MW. It is a coal-based power plant whose owner and operator is Reliance Power. It is situated in the Sasan village, which is in Madhya Pradesh. Sasan Ultra Mega Power Plant is currently the 4th largest thermal power plant in India. It was first commissioned in 2015 for the first time. The electricity generated from this plant is supplied to seven states of India.

Tiroda Thermal Power Plant, Maharashtra:

The Tiroda thermal power plant has an installed capacity of 3,300MW. It is a coal-based power plant located in Maharashtra and operated by Adani Power. The water is drawn Wainganga River. In 2012, its first plant was commissioned, while the last was in October. This power plant uses supercritical technology to supply electricity. Tiroda thermal power plant also achieved the feat of the highest plant loader factor of 90.84% for its full operation in the year 2015-2016.

Talcher Super Thermal Power Station, Odisha:

The Talcher Super Thermal Power Station is owned and operated by NTPC. It is a coal-fired power plant in India found in the Angul district of Odisha and is the first plant to have an installed capacity generation of 300MW. This plant has a total of six 500 MW units. In the year 1995, Talcher Super Thermal Power Plant's first unit was commissioned. On the hand, its last unit started operating in 2005. The electricity generated from this plant is supplied to West Bengal, Telangana, Odisha, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar.

List of Major Thermal Power Plant Operators in India

Thermal power plants are operated both privately and through the government. There are 9 major thermal power plant operators in India that we have listed below.

S.No.

Name of the Operator

1

National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC)

2

National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC)

3

Rural Electrification Corporation (REC)

4

North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO)

5

Power Finance Corporation (PFC)

6

Power Grid Corporation of India (POWER GRID)

7

SJVN – A Mini Ratna Company

8

THDC India Limited

9

Power System Operation Corporation Limited (POSOCO)

Advantages and Disadvantages of Thermal Power Plants

The modern civilization sustains on electricity. With the rapid increase in population and modernisation happening across the globe, power generation has become vital. Thus, for general electricity, thermal power plants are used, which contributes to a major part of the electrical consumption that is done today. However, with a dozen of advantages of using thermal power plants, there are some disadvantages too. Below we have mentioned the merit and demerits of using thermal power plants.

Advantages of Thermal Power Plants

The use of thermal power plants has proved to be a milestone for the modern world. With rapid industrialization happening in and around the world, thermal power has been put to good use. So, we have listed some of the advantages of thermal power plants below.

  • They are cost-effective.
  • They require less amount to set it up as compared to other power plants.
  • A huge amount of power is generated.
  • Thermal power plants are a reliable source of energy to handle future power demands.
  • The technology for thermal power generation is well-established and easily accessible.
  • The cost of fuel in generating electricity through these plants is less as compared to gas.

Disadvantages of Thermal Power Plant

Thermal Power plants have been a game changer for modern society. However, one has to bear the huge cost of maintenance, and the efficiency of machines to name a few. The disadvantages of using thermal power plants in India are as follows:

  • As these plants require the use of exhaustible resources, therefore, it can cause depletion of these fossil fuels.
  • The cost of maintaining and operating the plant is high as the machines and equipment in them require skilled people to handle them efficiently.
  • High volume of water is needed to produce steam that can drive the turbines to produce electricity.
  • The overall efficiency of thermal plants is low. Several coal-based thermal plants use outdated technology that lacks the chance of upgradation.

Thermal Power Plant UPSC Notes

Thermal power plants form the backbone of any country. With the rapid increase in industrialization, the power plants in India have an indispensable role in the electricity supply to over a million homes. A majority of power plants are operated on coal. As per the NTPC Chairman, India has set a target of having 50 Giga Watt (GW) of renewable energy by 2030. This in itself highlights the need for power plants.

Thermal power plant forms a crucial part of the UPSC syllabus. Questions from this topic have been asked in both Prelims and Mains exams. Thus, having a strong knowledge of it is important for all UPSC aspirants. You must consult UPSC books to strengthen your exam preparation.

Important Notes for UPSC
Moderate Phase (1885 to 1905)Motions in Parliament
Swaraj PartyAssent to Bills
Drainage System of IndiaChief Ministers of India
Tropical Deciduous ForestNational Commission for Scheduled Caste
Maharatna Companies in IndiaHome Rule Movement

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FAQs on Thermal Power Plant in India

  • A thermal power plant is a power plant that is used to generate electricity. It converts heat energy into electrical energy by using water as a fluid and heating it at a high temperature to generate steam. Heat energy is used from coal combustion or other fuel to convert water to steam. The steam is generated at very high pressure and temperature.

  • The largest thermal power plant in India is the Vindhyachal Thermal Power Station. It is located in the Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh and has an installed capacity of 4,760MW. Vindhyachal Thermal Power Station is a coal-based power plant owned and operated by NTPC.

  • Thermal power plants in India generate more than 71% of electrical energy. A major portion of the contribution goes to some of the major thermal power plants of India, including Vindhyachal Thermal Power Station of Madhya Pradesh, Mundra Thermal Power Station of the Kutch district of Gujarat, Sasan Ultra Mega power plant of Madhya Pradesh, Tiroda thermal power plant in Maharashtra, NTPC Talcher Kaniha in Odisha.

  • Thermal power plants require fossil fuels to operate so that energy is generated. Six types of thermal power plants are there that are listed below.

    • Coal-Fired
    • Gas
    • Diesel or Liquid fuel
    • Geothermal
    • Biomass
    • Waste Material

    Out of all the types of thermal power plants, the coal-fired power plant is used extensively.

  • India has a total of 399 thermal power plants as of 2022. Millions of Indians receive electricity with the help of these power plants located across the country. The Vindhyachal Thermal Power Station of Madhya Pradesh is the biggest thermal power plant in India. As per the World Resources Institute, these are those plants that are capable of generating electricity through a fuel, generally coal.

  • Thermal power plants have a good amount of advantages as well as disadvantages. The power plants are cost-effective that is capable of generating approx. 221,802.59 MW which lights up over a million homes. In addition to this, being the most reliable energy source, it can also handle future power demands. In contrast, the major disadvantage of the thermal power plant is that it requires the use of exhaustible resources, primarily coal.

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