NHPC mulling hybrid solar + hydro projects in Ladakh


Considering the high solar irradiance of the region, NHPC has proposed the blending of hydropower with solar power in the Union territory of Ladakh.

The state-run hydropower giant plans to develop a 50 MW solar project in Ladakh at Phyang along with three hydropower projects at other locations (80 MW at Khalsi, Kanyunche 45 MW and Takmaching 30 MW).

The plans were discussed between NHPC CMD A.K. Singh and Lt Governor of Ladakh R.K. Mathur in a recent meeting in New Delhi. The meeting was held to discuss NHPC’s proposals and ways to implement various identified hydro and solar power projects in the Leh-Ladakh region.

During the discussion, Singh intimated the Lt Governor about the achievement of NHPC in harnessing hydropower potential of the Ladakh region by commissioning 45 MW Nimmo Bazgo project in Leh and 44 MW Chutak project in Kargil.

In hybrid systems, PV plants can be mounted either on the slope of the dam or as a floating plant on the surface of the reservoir. Time and efforts are minimized as the solar plant can be connected to the hydropower facility’s substation and feed the same grid.

Further, “The flexibility of operation of hydro reservoir based power plants and their current connection to grids facilitates a “virtual battery” consisting of supplying the electricity demand with solar energy during peak irradiation hours, while balancing grids with hydropower during low/no irradiation times and providing a zero impact area for PV power plant deployment. The PV power plants also could prevent water evaporation, further benefiting hydropower production and water conservation”—according to an Elsevier paper “Combining Floating Solar Photovoltaic Power Plants and Hydropower Reservoirs. 

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


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