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Rs 2.44-trn plan for 500-Gw renewable energy transmission launched

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In order to support the 500 Gw (RE) capacity by the end of this decade, the Union ministry of power launched a plan “Transmission System for Integration of over 500 Gw RE Capacity by 2030.”

The plan — which entails connecting mega solar parks and wind power zones with the national grid — will see an of Rs 2.44 trillion in transmission projects.

The mega plan includes construction of 8,120 circuit km (ckm) of high voltage direct current transmission corridors (+800 kV and +350 kV), 25,960 ckm of 765 kV ac lines, 15,758 ckm of 400 kV lines and 1,052 ckm of 220 kV cable.

It also envisages installation of battery energy storage capacity of 51.5 Gw by 2030. This is to provide round-the-clock power to consumers.

A statement by the ministry of power said that the plan has identified major upcoming non-fossil fuel-based generation centres in the country. And, transmission systems have been planned accordingly.

This includes Fatehgarh, Bhadla and Bikaner in Rajasthan, Khavda in Gujarat, Anantapur and Kurnool RE Zones in Andhra Pradesh, offshore wind potentials in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat as well as an RE park in Ladakh, among others.

Speaking at the launch, Union minister for power, new & R K Singh said, “We will not compromise on economic growth.

We are also going to meet our climate commitments. We will achieve our target of 500 Gw non-fossil fuel capacity by 2030. The plan we are launching is in line with our commitments and will also pave the way for adding the required generation capacity.”

Urging RE generators and transmission project developers to hasten capacity addition, Singh said, “Make single-digit profit but add capacity as fast as possible.”

He added that transmission developers need not worry about preceding generation projects as they will be paid because the transmission cost has been socialised, at least till 2025.

He also said that the ministry is mulling to give liberty to renewable project developers.

“Currently, you are awarded the project and then Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) signs a power-purchase agreement (PPA) for you after finding buyer states. But now, we will give liberty to construct projects before PPA and sell on exchanges till the time buyers are found,” he said.

A high-level committee under the chairperson of Central Electricity Authority (CEA) with representatives from SECI, Central Transmission Utility of India, Power Grid Corporation of India, National Institute of Solar Energy and National Institute of Wind Energy held consultation with states and other stakeholders for preparing the report.

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