The clean energy initiative in the country has got a shot in the arm as Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), under the renewable energy ministry, has decided to set up 5,000 MW and 2,500 MW solar power projects in Ladakh and Kargil respectively, reported Times of India.
According to the reports, the proposed plan to install 5,000 MW of solar energy at Ladakh will make it the largest single-location solar photovoltaic plant in the world. The solar power projects in Ladakh and Kargil are slated to be completed by 2023 at an estimated investment of Rs 45,000 crore.
Ladakh project will be located at Hanle-Khaldo in Nyoma, which is 254 km away from Leh. The power generated by the project will go to Kaithal in Haryana for which a 900 km line will be laid along the Leh-Manali road. The second project at Kargil will be built at Suru in Zanskar, at a 254 km distance from the district headquarters. The project will be connected to the power grid at New Wanpoh near Sri Nagar.
The bids for the projects offers flexibility by including combining of the plant and associated transmission lines, putting promoters in control so that they do not have to depend on another entity for transmission and suffer in case of delaying of evacuation routes.
“We have addressed issues faced in previous tenders and taken into account the challenging geography,” SECI director (power systems) SK Mishra was quoted in the report as saying.
Leh and Kargil administrations have designated 25,000 and 12,500 acres of non-grazing land, respectively, at prices remunerative for the hill councils. They will also earn a rental of around Rs 1,200 per hectare per annum with a 3 per cent annual increase. Power minister RK Singh in August last year had said Ladakh has a potential of hosting 25,000 MW of solar power projects.
The NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set an ambitious target of producing 175 GW of energy from renewable sources – nearly 100 GW through solar power, 60 GW of wind power, 10 GW of biomass power and 5 GW of small hydropower by 2022.
Solar power generation projects are seemed to be the pet project for the present government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invested a lot in making a global solar producing nation. The NDA government has expanded the country’s solar-generation capacity 8 times from 2.63 GW in 2014 under UPA to over 25 GW as on 30 September 2018.