Leh: In a major step towards realizing the target of 500 GW capacity from non-fossil fuels by the year 2030, a crucial project for setting up a solar park in Ladakh has received the approval of the Network Planning Group (NPG).
The project, as announced by Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech, will be built with investment of Rs 20,700 crore, including central support of Rs 8,300 crore.
The Network Planning Group (NPG) is a crucial body under PM GatiShakti which has the planning in-charges of seven infrastructure ministries as members.
The NPG has approved a project by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy of setting up an important and one-of-a-kind project, envisaging an Inter-State Transmission System for Renewable Energy Projects in the union territory of Ladakh.
The setting up of a 7500 MW solar park in Ladakh and the transmission project was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day speech of the year 2020 and was later included in this year’s union budget.
Though there were concerns about the project meeting its 2026 deadline, with the NPG approval, the tenders are expected to be floated soon.
“This project comprises State-of-the-art VSC based HVDC terminals at Pang in Leh and Kaithal in Haryana along with a 350 kV HVDC line,” the officials informed.
“This project enables evacuation and grid integration of 13 GW RE through a 5 GW transmission system. With a first of its kind system in the world, a transmission utilization of 76% is expected,” they said.
The project is expected to generate employment in the union territory, besides contributing to the economy of Ladakh.
“It will create employment opportunities at local level and lead to overall economic development of Ladakh,” said the officials.
The project, being a renewable energy project, is also expected to bring down the carbon emissions.
“The project will facilitate in abating carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of the order of 26 Million Tonnes per year,” informed the officials.
“This project is a big step towards achieving the Government of India’s target of 500 GW capacity from non – fossil fuels by the year 2030,” they added.
The project, it may be mentioned here, was examined and recommended by the Network Planning Group under PM GatiShakti at its 45th session. The meeting was chaired by the Special Secretary, Logistics Division, DPIIT and saw active participation of senior officials from key member ministries and departments including Department of Telecommunication (DoT), ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, ministry of Railways, ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, ministry of Civil Aviation, ministry of Power, NITI Aayog, ministry of Road Transport and Highways, ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
During the meeting, five more projects including 3 by ministry of Railways and 2 by ministry of Road Transport and Highways were also examined by the NPG and recommended, an official handout said.
“These projects will be developed in tandem with the PM GatiShakti Principles using the integrated and holistic approach. These projects will also provide multimodal connectivity, seamless movement of goods and passengers as well as increase logistics efficiency across the country,” it added.