High cost involved in transmitting the power produced has almost put the 1,000 MW solar park project of Spiti valley in Lahaul Spiti district on back-burner. Most difficult challenge for the state government is to lay a transmission line to Spiti to evacuate the power from Himalayan region. Earlier, similar solar project in Ladakh was shelved due to same reasons.
In 1997, state government had decided to lay 150km transmission line from Karchham in Kinnaur to Kaza in Spiti. Till date, an amount of Rs 50 crore has been spent on the project but the transmission line is still far from completion. A senior government official, requesting anonymity, said it would take another 20-30 years to lay new line to evacuate power.Sources said Power Grid Corporation of India Limited had termed the Ladakh green corridor project economically unviable.They said if 5,000 MW solar project in Ladakh could be unviable due to high cost of per unit production then similar conditions apply for Spiti where a new transmission line needs to be laid before executing the project.
Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited director R K Sharma, who was earlier associated with project, said evacuation of power from the proposed 1,000 MW solar project in Spiti is a big issue. He said on the issue of laying transmission line to Spiti, Central Electricity Authority and Power Grid Corporation of India Limited has to take the final call.Lahaul Spiti MLA Ravi Thakur said that project is very much feasible provided Power Grid lays the transmission line as 2,500 bighas of land has already been identified for the project.
Sources said that the proposed solar park would require around Rs 8,000-9,000 crore for completion. Germany has agreed to provide loans worth 125 million euros (about Rs 915 crore) for financing two green energy projects in Himachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. Of the total amount, 57 million euros would be given to Himachal Pradesh.