India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has granted its approval today for the Green Energy Corridor (GEC) Phase-II project. This initiative pertains to the development of the Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS) to facilitate a 13GW Renewable Energy Project in the region of Ladakh.

The project’s objective is to be fully operational by the financial year 2029-30, with a total projected budget of approximately INR207.74bn ($2.5bn). The Central Financial Assistance (CFA) will contribute 40% of the project’s total cost.

Considering the intricate terrain, challenging climatic conditions, and the strategic significance of the Ladakh region, the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID) has been designated as the Implementing Agency for this project. The project will incorporate cutting-edge technologies, such as the Voltage Source Converter (VSC) based High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) system and Extra High Voltage Alternating Current (EHVAC) systems.

The transmission infrastructure for channelling this power will traverse through Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, extending up to Kaithal in Haryana, where it will seamlessly connect with the National Grid. Additionally, there are plans for an interconnection from this project in Leh to the existing Ladakh grid, ensuring a dependable power supply to the Ladakh region.

Furthermore, a link will be established with the Leh-Alusteng-Srinagar line to provide power to Jammu & Kashmir. The project entails the establishment of 713km of transmission lines, which includes a 480 km HVDC line, along with the installation of 5GW capacity HVDC terminals at both Pang (Ladakh) and Kaithal (Haryana).

This undertaking plays a pivotal role in contributing to the national goal of achieving 500GW of installed electricity capacity from non-fossil fuels by 2030. Beyond this, it significantly enhances the country’s long-term energy security and promotes environmentally sustainable development by reducing the carbon footprint. Moreover, the project is poised to generate a substantial number of employment opportunities, both direct and indirect, for skilled and unskilled workers in the power and related sectors, with particular focus on creating jobs in the Ladakh region.

It’s worth noting that this project operates in tandem with the ongoing Intra-State Transmission System Green Energy Corridor Phase-II (InSTS GEC-II), which is already in progress within the states of Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh. The InSTS GEC-II initiative is geared toward facilitating grid integration and the efficient evacuation of approximately 20GW of renewable energy power. This particular project is anticipated to reach completion by 2026.

Under the InSTS GEC-II scheme, the objective is to add 10,753 circuit kilometres (ckm) of transmission lines and increase the substation capacity by 27,546 MVA.

In August 2020, Prime Minister Modi unveiled an ambitious plan to establish a 7.5 GW Solar Park in Ladakh. Following thorough field surveys, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has devised a comprehensive strategy to implement a remarkable 13GW Renewable Energy (RE) generation capacity, coupled with a substantial 12GWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in the region of Pang, Ladakh. To manage the efficient transmission of this substantial power capacity, the development of an inter-state transmission infrastructure became imperative.