Srinagar, Oct 20: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha expressed his optimism about the 13 GW Renewable Energy Project's far-reaching benefits, stating that it will ensure uninterrupted and reliable power supply to the region, improving the overall power situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Emphasising the importance of this initiative in terms of providing a dependable power source, particularly during the harsh winter season, when hydro energy generation dwindles, the LG said that this prestigious renewable energy project is a testament to our unwavering dedication to ensuring round-the-clock power availability,.
"The UT administration is resolute in its commitment to providing uninterrupted and reliable power supply to the people of Jammu & Kashmir,” he said.
Addressing a press conference at Raj Bhawan here, Lt. Governor said from the past three years, in areas of transmission and distribution the administration is providing more electricity to people as compared to the past.
“Currently we are purchasing 10 rupees per unit electricity and distributing those Rs 1.25 per unit. Despite giving heavy subsidies, everyone knows what amount the government is getting through consumer bills, " he said.
LG Sinha said recently the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, presided over by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, gave its nod to the Green Energy Corridor (GEC) Phase-II – Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS) for the colossal 13 GW Renewable Energy Project in Ladakh.
“In the first phase, administration will cover Srinagar and Jammu cities and after those small towns and cities will be covered. Regarding installation of smart meters, there were rumours and some were deliberately put by others to defame the Power Development Department,” he said.
LG Sinha clarified that if anyone has confusion or any other issue related to bills, they will be tested properly by PDD to avoid the confusion.
“Where we get any complaints, we are testing their meters too,” he said adding bills will be generated according to supply and people should support the installation of smart meters.”
Secondly, the feeders which have been linked 100 per cent with smart metres, there would be minimum curtailment in metered areas.
“We are making a system of 100 per cent smart metered feeders, where the admin is getting money. There will be 24 hour electricity for the same,” he said.
LG Sinha said that this significant initiative will also be seamlessly integrated with the Leh-Alusteng-Srinagar transmission line, ensuring a clean and sustainable energy supply to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
He said the 13 GW Renewable Energy Project promises substantial advantages to J&K, in addition to various other regions across the nation.
LG also highlighted the commitment of the UT administration to furnish uninterrupted and dependable power to its residents, the esteemed project guarantees a continuous supply of electricity.
“This project will serve as an alternative power source for the valley by seamlessly connecting with the existing 220 KV Leh-Alusteng-Srinagar Transmission System. This strategic move aims to reduce the region's reliance on hydro energy generation, which tends to wane during the winter months,” he said.
LG Sinha said the transfer of power from Ladakh to Kashmir will not only enhance the power situation in Kashmir but will also have a positive impact on the Jammu region.
“This is because the power transfer to Kashmir from the 400kV Kishanpur and Jatwal grids, which are part of the existing central sector Grids located in Jammu, will be significantly reduced in proportion,” he added.
Lt. Governor said the reduction in power flow will effectively free up tied capacity at these grids, resulting in improved power availability in Jammu throughout the year.
“The transmission line for transmitting this power will traverse through Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, ultimately connecting to Kaithal in Haryana, thereby integrating with the National Grid,” he said.
LG Sinha said the integrated system will also interconnect with Ladakh's existing grid and the 220kV Alusteng Grid situated in the Ganderbal district of Kashmir through the Leh-Alusteng-Srinagar line. This comprehensive network is designed to ensure a stable and continuous power supply to the entire Union Territory, he said.
“The 220kV Alusteng Grid in the Ganderbal district of Kashmir has been expanded by establishing a connection to the 220kV Zainakote Grid. Furthermore, there are impending plans for connectivity that will link the 220kV Mirbazar Grid to the Alusteng Grid, and these connections are expected to be completed in the near future,” he said.
Lt. Sinha further said the proposed integration of Renewable Energy (RE) generation in Ladakh with the 220kV Grids of Kashmir, it becomes evident that the power transfer from Ladakh will have a profoundly positive impact on the entire Kashmir valley.
“This impact will translate into improved power availability throughout the year, especially during the power-deficit winter months,” he said.
Notably, the 13 GW Renewable Energy projects are equipped with 12 GW Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), a development set to guarantee a consistent power supply to Jammu & Kashmir. This is dependent on the transmission system's capacity established between Ladakh and Kashmir.
He said Kashmir is situated at the end of the Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS), a network responsible for transporting power from various thermal and nuclear generators located across different parts of the country to the Kashmir region.
“The introduction of power supply from the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) supported renewable energy generator, located in close proximity to Kashmir, will serve to alleviate the challenges of low voltage conditions that are typically experienced during the winter months in the valley due to reduced hydro generation,” he said.
“Renewable Energy projects in the Ladakh region are set to usher in greener energy, contributing to a reduction in carbon footprints, and play a vital role in preserving the delicate environmental balance in the Kashmir-Ladakh regions,” LG Sinha added.
He said the introduction of Renewable Energy (RE) Power through the existing 200kV Leh-Alusteng-Srinagar line serves a dual purpose.
“Not only does it establish redundancy within the transmission system in the valley, but it also significantly contributes to disaster mitigation efforts,” LG Sinha said.
He also highlighted that UT has outlined plans to lay a new 400kV Transmission line extending from Ladakh to Kashmir.
“This additional infrastructure will represent the third 400kV-level power source for the valley, complementing the existing 400kV Kishenpur-Wagoora and Samba (Jatwal)-Amargarh Transmission Lines. It is expected to deliver the essential redundancy needed to bolster the power supply in the valley, in anticipation of future load growth, especially as industrialization continues to expand,” LG Sinha added.
He further said UT administration is also considering the possibility of installing additional transmission lines to harness more power from the aforementioned RE projects, aligning their approach with the evolving requirements and feasibility assessments.
Regarding winter preparedness of the UT administration, LG said their commitment to meeting the peak power demand during the winter season.
He said the region is well-equipped with snow clearance equipment and machinery, enabling smoother operations during challenging weather conditions.
“Our dedication to ensuring uninterrupted supplies of essential provisions such as ration and medicine to meet the needs of the local population,” LG added.
The project is targeted to be set up by FY 2029-30 with total estimated cost of Rs.20,773.70 crore and Central Financial Assistance (CFA) @ 40 percent of the project cost i.e. Rs.8,309.48 crore.
With the 40% grant support, the levelized transmission tariff will come down from ₹0.88 per unit to ₹0.55 per unit of power.