In a significant development for India’s renewable energy sector, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given the green light to the Green Energy Corridor (GEC) Phase-II – Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS) project. This initiative is a crucial step towards harnessing the potential of renewable energy in the Ladakh region.
The project, which aims to have a 13 GW renewable energy capacity, is slated for completion by the fiscal year 2029-30. It comes with an estimated total cost of Rs. 20,773.70 crore, with the central government providing financial assistance amounting to 40 percent of the project cost, equivalent to Rs. 8,309.48 crore.
Given the unique challenges of Ladakh’s terrain, extreme weather conditions, and strategic defense considerations, the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID) has been entrusted with the responsibility of implementing this ambitious venture. State-of-the-art technology, including Voltage Source Converter (VSC) based High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) systems and Extra High Voltage Alternating Current (EHVAC) systems, will be deployed.
The transmission lines for transporting the generated power will traverse through Himachal Pradesh and Punjab until they reach Kaithal in Haryana, where integration with the national grid will take place. Additionally, an interconnection to the existing Ladakh grid in Leh is planned to ensure reliable power supply to the region. This initiative will also connect to the Leh-Alusteng-Srinagar line, supplying power to Jammu & Kashmir. The project involves the construction of 713 km of transmission lines, including a 480 km HVDC line, along with 5 GW capacity HVDC terminals at Pang (Ladakh) and Kaithal (Haryana).
Crucially, this project is in line with India’s goal of achieving 500 GW of non-fossil fuel electricity capacity by 2030. It will not only enhance the nation’s long-term energy security but also promote ecologically sustainable growth by reducing the carbon footprint. Furthermore, it is expected to generate substantial employment opportunities, both directly and indirectly, benefiting skilled and unskilled workers, especially in the Ladakh region.
This endeavor complements the ongoing Intra-State Transmission System Green Energy Corridor Phase-II (InSTS GEC-II), which focuses on grid integration and power evacuation for approximately 20 GW of renewable energy in several Indian states and is slated for completion by 2026. This state-of-the-art transmission infrastructure aligns with Prime Minister Modi’s vision, articulated on Independence Day in 2020, for the establishment of a 7.5 GW Solar Park in Ladakh, and serves as a critical milestone in India’s journey towards sustainable and green energy solutions.