Thursday 17 January 2019

5 GigaWatts of clean power: SECI invites global bid for World's Largest Solar Plant in Ladakh region

The vast wasteland of Ladakh has attracted travellers from far away for its sizzling winters and summer bike rides. Often, referred to as the 'roof of the world',  the scenic Ladakh region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir could soon host the world’s largest single-location PV plant.

All I see turns to brown
As the sun burns the ground
And my eyes fill with sand
As I scan this wasted land.

- Kashmir by Led Zeppelin.

The race to build World's largest solar plant between China, Saudi Arabia and India has heated up. According to the industry reports, China’s Datong Solar Power Project, with a projected capacity of 3 GW has the potential to become the world’s biggest single-location solar PV project, once completed. Similarly, Saudi Arabia's massive 200GW solar plant in its deserts has been currently put on hold by the King. India has taken a giant leap in Solar power generation after 2014 under the leadership of PM Modi. Solar Energy Corporation of India has invited Request for Selection bid for the 7500MW solar plant in Kargil and Leh region has heated up the race for building World's largest Solar Power Plant.

SECI, a Government of India enterprise under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is promoting the projects in Jammu and Kashmir state on a scale matching the grandeur of their locations. A 5,000 MW (megawatt) for the Ladakh unit and a 2,500 MW Kargil unit is planned to be completed by 2023 at an estimated investment of Rs 45,000 crore. 

This matches India's commitment at COP21 and as a lead founder of the International Solar Alliance. The World's Largest Solar Plant at Ladakh will save 12,750 tonnes of carbon emission a year, remove dependence on diesel generators and create a livelihood for the local population that remains cut off for 6-8 months.

The Ladakh project will be located at Hanle-Khaldo in Nyoma, a strategically important area 254km from Leh. The Kargil project will be built at Suru in Zanskar, 254km from the district HQ. Power from the Ladakh project will flow to Kaithal in Haryana, for which a900-km line will be laid mostly along Leh-Manali road. The Kargil project will hook up with the grid at New Wanpoh near Srinagar.

The Times of India quoted SK Mishra, Director of Power Systems, Solar Electrification Corporation of India, "The Leh and Kargil administration have designated 25,000 and 12,500 acres of non-grazing land, respectively, at prices remunerative for the hill councils, which will also earn rental of around Rs1,200 per hectare, per annum, with 3% annual escalation".

Tender Details as on SECI website - 

- Chaitanya Kulkarni.

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