Responding to a question in the Lok Sabha, the Union Minister stated that the government has planned to set up a 50 MW solar project in Leh through the Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI).
Regarding the development of 7.5 GW of solar power projects in Leh and Zanskar regions of Ladakh, the Union Power Minister, R.K. Singh, said that the site visits would be undertaken by prospective bidders after the melting of snow and gaining access to the sites.
The Minister added that based on the inputs from prospective bidders, further tendering activities would be taken up.
In January 2020, SECI once again extended the deadline for the submission of bids for its mega solar tender of 7.5 GW capacity.
The last date for the submission of bids is now April 30, 2020. The earlier deadline for bid submission was January 31, 2020, which was extended from November 29, 2019. The tender was first issued in January 2019.
The total capacity of 7.5 GW under the Request for Selection has been divided into three packages of 2.5 GW each. The package-A would be set up in the areas tentatively identified in the Zanskar sub-division and Tai Suru block of Kargil district. Packages B and C would be developed at the Hanley Khaldo area of Nyoma sub-division in the Leh district.
As per the tender documents, the implementation time of the project is 48 months from the effective date of the power purchase agreement. The Minister noted that two solar projects of 7 MW capacity and 21 MWh battery storage systems would be set up each in Leh and Kargil.
As reported by the Union Territory of Ladakh, Leh has a solar potential of 35,000 MW, and Kargil has a solar potential of 25,000 MW. The wind capacity for the Leh region stands at 1,00,000 MW. The small hydro capacity for the Leh region stands at 200 WM and 72 MW for the Kargil region.
Singh added that the National Institute of Wind Energy had taken the initiative for setting up of 100 m high wind masks in Leh to collect wind data.
In January last year, Mercom had reported that Leh and Kargil, two of India’s most challenging and inhospitable terrains, were finally connected to the national electricity grid. This feat, which was achieved after 72 years of independence, and was made possible by the government’s PowerGrid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL), a state-run transmission utility.
Rakesh Ranjan is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.