Ladakh could generate 60 GW from solar plants

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India’s union territory of Ladakh—which has a peak electricity demand of 50 MW—has massive solar potential of around 60 GW (including 35 GW in Leh and 25 GW in Kargil district).

This information was shared by power minister R.K. Singh in Parliament recently.

The government has been quick to announce major infrastructure projects for Ladakh, realizing the union territory’s potential for production of solar energy, which could be a boon for the entire country.

The government has planned India’s largest solar project of 7.5 GW (4.5 GW in Leh and 2.5 GW in Kargil) and two solar plants each of 7 MW capacity with 21 MWh battery energy storage system in Leh and Kargil. This apart, a 50 MW solar project is planned for Leh.

“The 7.5 GW solar project with an outlay of Rs 50,000 crore will be completed in 4 years. This will not only bring development in the Ladakh region but also create employment opportunities,” announced Union Home Minister Amit Shah in November last year.

The government intends to roll out further projects based on the feedback of the prospective bidders after their visit to the proposed sites of solar installation.

“Site visits are required to be undertaken by prospective bidders and the same would be taken up after melting of snow and gaining accessibility to the sites. Based on inputs from the prospective bidders, further tendering activities would be taken up,” shared the power minister.

Further, to resolve grid connectivity challenge, the government plans a Rs 11,000-crore power transmission project for Ladakh. Under the project, a 900-km power transmission link will be set up to help large solar and wind energy projects in Ladakh to supply electricity to the people of Leh and Kargil districts, besides defence establishments, during harsh winters and also help transmit surplus power to the rest of the country in summers.