Himachal to set up 1,000 MW solar power project in Spiti
SHIMLA-The Himachal Pradesh government is setting up a joint venture to generate 1,000 MW of solar power in the cold desert of Spiti, adjoining Tibet, where there is abundant sunshine.
State-owned utility Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd and the Solar Power Corporation of India will form an equal joint venture for this project. Himachal Pradesh has about 300 clear and sunny days in a year, according to the state’s solar power policy notified in 2014. International competitive bids will be invited for the project, an official said.
There have been few takers for solar projects in the hill state, where hydropower is inexpensive. One of the key constraints that has hampered the development of solar power in Himachal Pradesh is the lack of a network in the Lahaul & Spiti region to transmit and distribute electricity.
The project requires power evacuation infrastructure in Spiti. Power Grid Corporation will aid in setting up power evacuation infrastructure,
said Tarun Shridhar, additional chief secretary (Personnel, MPP & Power, NCES, and Horticulture).
Power Grid and the Himachal Pradesh Transmission Corporation are in talks to set up a green corridor for power evacuation from remote locations.
The cost per unit from the solar project is expected to be high due to the remoteness of the location.
Himachal Pradesh had about 3,400 MW of installed hydroelectricity capacity out of a total of 4,400 MW at the end of December, according to data on the Central Electricity Authority website.
Photo: Route Canal