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President accords sanction to Rs 20,773 cr RE Transmission System Project in Ladakh – EQ

President accords sanction to Rs 20,773 cr RE Transmission System Project in Ladakh – EQ


In Short : The President has approved a Rs 20,773 crore Renewable Energy (RE) Transmission System Project in Ladakh. This significant sanction indicates the government’s commitment to developing infrastructure for renewable energy transmission, particularly in regions with high potential, like Ladakh.

In Detail : JAMMU : President of India has accorded sanction to Rs 20,773.70 crore worth Inter-State Transmission System for 13 Giga Watts (GW) Renewable Energy Project in Ladakh, which will benefit cold desert region, Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory as well as other States through the Northern Grid. The project, first of its kind in the world in such a tough terrain, will be executed by the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID) and completed by Financial Year 2029-30.

The project was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in its meeting held on October 18, 2023 and now the same has received the sanction of the President of India for implementation, read a communication of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR.

The project envisages setting up of about 713 kilometers transmission lines and two five Giga Watts (GW) capacity of High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) terminals-one each at Pang (Ladakh) and Kaithal (Haryana). The project will facilitate evacuation of power from Renewable Energy (RE) power project comprising of 13 GW capacity along with 12 GWh Battery Energy Storage System in Ladakh.

The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 20,773.70 crore (excluding the interest during construction) and the approved Central Financial Assistance at the rate of 40% of the project cost is Rs 8309.48 crore. The balance project cost will be arranged by Power Grid Corporation of India Limited through debt and equity.

The project will be monitored closely by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and Central Transmission Utility of India Ltd (CTUIL) and POWERGRID will submit monthly management summary report to CEA and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, which will coordinate with Ministry of Power to ensure that RE generation and the transmission projects are planned and executed in a systematic manner to ensure efficient and optimal utilization of RE transmission system.

It is pertinent to mention here that Ladakh has very high solar insolation as such is an appropriate site for setting up of RE generation project. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has prepared a plan to set up 13 GW RE generation capacity in Ladakh. However, at present there is no infrastructure for power evacuation as such it is necessary to create an inter-state transmission infrastructure.

As the transmission system will pass through difficult mountainous terrain of high altitude and extreme climatic conditions—temperature going as low as minus 45 degree Celsius and heavy snow, special kind of steel will be used in the towers and associated accessories. The transmission system will be passing through avalanche prone areas and thus state-of-the art technology will be used to establish a first of its kind system in the world in such topography.

Mentioning that project is aimed to create inter-state transmission infrastructure required for power evacuation from RE power project of 13 GW capacity in Pang (Ladakh), the New and Renewable Energy Ministry said that transmission line will pass through Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and up to Kaithal in Haryana where it will be integrated with the National Grid.

An interconnection will be made from this project in Leh to existing Ladakh grid so as to ensure reliable power supply to Ladakh. It will also be connected to Leh-Kargil-Alusteng (Srinagar) line to provide power to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

In the initial two years, tower foundation and tower erection will be done. The stringing will be done from third year onwards and progressively uncharged line sections will be made ready. POWERGRID will utilize the PM-Gati Shakti National Master Plan for conducting the line survey for avoiding the forest and wildlife areas as much as possible. Moreover, POWERGRID will prepare a detailed logistic plan keeping in mind various environment and topographical related limitations.

Further, POWERGRID will coordinate with Border Roads Organization for development of road infrastructure including road widening, improvement of hairpin bends, gradient improvement, removal of protruded stones in hilly terrain and strengthening of bridges and construction of new ones etc.

Optical Ground Wire (OPGW) has been envisaged at both peaks of transmission towers to provide direct optical fibre connectivity between Pang and Kaithal.

Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network