SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 20: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, on October 18 approved the project on Green Energy Corridor (GEC) Phase-II – Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS) for 13 GW Renewable Energy Project in Ladakh. The project will also be connected to the Leh-Alusteng-Srinagar line to provide clean energy to J&K UT.
Interacting with the media persons, Lieutenant Governor Shri Manoj Sinha said the 13 GW Renewable Energy Project will greatly benefit Jammu & Kashmir, apart from other parts of the country.
He said the UT administration is committed to provide un-interrupted and reliable power supply to the people. The prestigious project will ensure round the clock power availability, he added.
The Lt Governor said the project will offer an alternative source of power to the valley through the existing 220 kV Leh-Alusteng-Srinagar Transmission System, reducing dependence on Hydro Energy Generation, which diminishes during the winters.
He said the power transfer from Ladakh to Kashmir will improve the power situation in Jammu region as well because the power transfer to Kashmir from the existing central sector Grids namely 400kV Kishanpur and Jatwal grids situated in Jammu, will be proportionally reduced. This reduction will free up tied capacity at these grids, thereby improving availability in Jammu through the year.
The transmission line for evacuating power will run through Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to Kaithal in Haryana, integrating with the National Grid and interconnection to Ladakh’s existing grid and the 220kV Alusteng Grid in Ganderbal district of Kashmir through Leh-Alusteng-Srinagar line, to provide power to Jammu and Kashmir.
The 220kV Alusteng Grid in Ganderbal district of Kashmir has been further connected to the 220kV Zainakot Grid. Additionally, there is upcoming connectivity linking the 220kV Mirbazar Grid to the Alusteng Grid which is expected to be completed shortly. Keeping in view the proposed connectivity of RE generation in Ladakh with 220kV Grids of Kashmir, it can be said with certainty that the power transfer from Ladakh will positively impact the entire Kashmir valley, improving power availability round the year especially during power deficit winter months.
The said 13 GW RE projects are equipped with 12 GW Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) which will ensure round the clock power supply to J&K, based on the capacity of transmission system laid between Ladakh and Kashmir.
Kashmir is situated at the tail end of the Inter State Transmission System (ISTS), through which power from various thermal/nuclear generators located across different parts of the country is transmitted to the Kashmir region. The power supply from the said Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) supported renewable energy generator, located near Kashmir, will mitigate the low voltage conditions experienced during winters in the valley due to the decrease in hydro generation.
The RE projects in Ladakh region will provide greener energy with reduced carbon foot prints and will help to protect the fragile environment of Kashmir-Ladakh regions.
Further, the availability of RE Power through the existing 200kV Leh-Alusteng-Srinagar line will create redundancy in the Transmission system in the valley and will help to mitigate the sufferings during disasters. J&K has proposed to lay new 400 kV Transmission line from Ladakh to Kashmir which will be the third source at 400 kV level to the valley apart from 400 kV Kishenpur-Wagoora and Samba(Jatwal)-Amargarh Transmission Lines. The new 400 kV line will provide much needed redundancy in power to the valley and will cater to the future load growth which is evident after industrialization.
J&K may plan to install additional transmission lines for drawing more power from the said RE projects, as per the requirement and feasibility.
At the Press Conference, the Lt Governor also talked about the winter preparedness of the UT administration. He said the administration is working with utmost sensitivity to meet the peak power demand during winters.
We are in a better position in terms of Snow clearance equipments and machines. The uninterrupted supply of ration, medicine, and other essential amenities is being ensured, he said.
Background & Objective of 13 GW Renewable Energy Project:
Ladakh has very high solar insolation, and is therefore an appropriate site for setting up Gigawatt scale solar generation capacity. Hon’ble Prime Minister, during his Independence Day Speech on 15.08.2020, announced setting up of 7.5 GW Solar Park in Ladakh. After extensive field survey, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) have prepared a plan to set up 13 GW Renewable Energy (RE) generation capacity (9 GW Solar + 4 GW Wind) along with 12 GWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in Ladakh.
For evacuating this huge quantum of power, inter-state transmission infrastructure shall be created. In view of the complex terrain and adverse climatic conditions in Ladakh, state of the art Voltage Source Converter (VSC) based High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) system and Extra High Voltage Alternating Current (EHVAC) systems will be deployed under the project.
The project will contribute to achieving the target of 500 GW of installed electricity capacity from non-fossil fuels by year 2030. The project will also help in developing long term energy security of the country and promote ecologically sustainable growth by reducing carbon footprint. It will generate large direct & indirect employment opportunities for both skilled and unskilled personnel in power and other related sectors in region.
Inter-State Transmission System GEC Phase-II for 13 GW RE project in Ladakh:
The transmission line for evacuating this power will pass through Himachal Pradesh and Punjab up to Kaithal in Haryana, where it will be integrated with the National Grid. An interconnection is also planned from this project in Leh to existing Ladakh grid so as to ensure reliable power supply to the Ladakh. It will also be connected to the Leh-Alusteng-Srinagar line to provide power to J&K.
Keeping in view the complex terrain and defence sensitivities, Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID) has been nominated as the Implementing Agency for this project.The total estimated cost of Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS) Green Energy Corridor (GEC) Phase-II is ₹20,773.70 crore[excluding Interest During Construction (IDC)]. The Detailed Project Report (DPR) and the cost estimates have been prepared by POWERGRID. The project will entail setting up of 713 km [or 1268 circuit kilometres (ckm)] of transmission lines and 2×5000 MW capacity of High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) terminals – one each at Pang (Ladakh) and Kaithal (Haryana).
The project will pass through difficult mountainous terrain of high altitude and extreme climatic conditions viz. temperature going as low as minus 45oC, heavy snow (maximum standing snow of approx. 5-6 metres), etc. In order to counter the sub-zero temperature of the region, a special kind of steel will have to be used in towers and its associated accessories. The transmission system would also be passing through avalanche zones and, thus, state-of-the art technology would be used to establish a first of its kind system in the world in such topography.
The 13 GW RE capacity will be combination of 9 GW Solar and 4 GW Wind. This capacity is proposed to be combined with 12 GWh of Battery Energy Storage Systems(BESS),which will result in round the clock supply of power to the tune of 33,630 million Units per annum. The proposed transmission is of 5 GW capacity, which will be sufficient to transmit the above power and it has been designed in such a way that capacity utilization of the line will be 76% upon integration of BESS on generation side.
POWERGRID will complete its FEED study by December, 2024 and will thereafter award the contract by March 2025. The project will be completed in 5 years from award of work. Accordingly, the project timeline is proposed as 7 years, i.e. from FY 2023-24 to FY 2029-30.
The project is targeted to be set up by FY 2029-30 with total estimated cost of Rs.20,773.70 crore and Central Financial Assistance (CFA) @ 40 percent of the project cost i.e. Rs.8,309.48 crore.
With the 40% grant support, the levelized transmission tariff will come down from ₹0.88 per unit to ₹0.55 per unit of power.