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India to take lead in utility-scale PV

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) expects the 5 GW Ladakh solar farm to be the world’s largest, surpassing China’s 3 GW Datong Solar Power Project.

The single-location solar photovoltaic (PV) plant will be built in the Ladakh region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, where there is abundant sunlight and clear air.

The project will be completed in 2023 and is expected to save around 12,750 tonnes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions annually.

The power generated in Leh district will be transmitted along a 900 km stretch of the Leh-Manali road, for consumption by Kaithal district in the state of Haryana. It will be supplemented by another 2.5GW solar project in the Kargil district. 

The projects are expected to spur development in the remote border regions and supply a number of jobs through the development of the farm and associated power storage facilities. 

According to PV Magazine India, the project will enable developers to set up the power transmission and evacuation infrastructure and the 7.5GW Jammu & Kashmir tender encourages them to add storage.

Developers are encouraged to explore different forms of storage technology, including battery, molten salts, pumped storage or a combination thereof, for innovative and efficient utilisation of the transmission evacuation infrastructure.

The Times of India quoted SK Mishra, director of power systems for the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), as saying: “We have addressed issues faced in previous tenders and taken into account the challenging geography.

“Another positive is the Leh and Kargil administrations have designated 25,000 and 12,500 acres of non-grazing land, respectively, at prices remunerative for the hill councils, which will also earn rental of around Rs1,200 per hectare, per annum, with 3% annual escalation,” he added.

This article was published on our sister website Smart Energy International.

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