The Indian government has given go-ahead for 23 new interstate transmission system projects (ISTS projects), which are estimated to cost INR158.93bn ($2.1bn).

The approval from the Union Minister of Power and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) will facilitate the evacuation of power from a total of 18.5GW of renewable projects.

According to the Ministry of Power, the new ISTS projects include 13 transmission systems having an estimated cost of INR147.66bn ($1.95bn), which will be developed under tariff based competitive bidding (TBCB).

Also, part of the approved projects are 10 transmission systems to be built with a projected cost of INR11.27bn ($150m), which will be installed under regulated tariff mechanism (RTM).

Overall, the new ISTS projects will enable evacuation of power from 14GW of renewable projects in Rajasthan, 4.5GW of such projects in Gujarat, the 1GW Neemuch Solar Park in Madhya Pradesh, as well as feeding areas near Akhnoor and Jammu region by setting up the Siot substation in Jammu.

The Ministry said that the approval of the projects was granted following the review of the recommendations of the National Committee on Transmission and in compliance with the National Tariff Policy 2016, notified by the Indian government.

As per the policy, ISTS projects are developed via TBCB with the exception of certain category projects, which are strategic, technical-upgradation or time-bound in nature.

According to the Ministry, the transmission network expansion will enhance the smooth transfer of electricity from power surplus areas to power deficit regions.

Besides, the projects will help the growth of renewable power-based capacity, said the Ministry of Power.