Cabinet Approves ₹208 Billion Green Energy Corridor in Ladakh

The corridor, scheduled for completion by 2029-30, will help evacuate 13 GW of renewable power


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for the implementation of the Green Energy Corridor (GEC) Phase-II – Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS) project to facilitate the evacuation of 13 GW of renewable power in the region of Ladakh.

The project, scheduled for completion by the financial year 2029-30, comes with an estimated cost of ₹207.74 billion (~$2.4 billion), with Central Financial Assistance (CFA) covering 40% of the total project cost, amounting to ₹83.09 billion (~$998 million).

The government said the execution of this project, considering Ladakh’s challenging terrain, harsh climatic conditions, and defense sensitivities, has been entrusted to the Power Grid Corporation of India (POWERGRID).

The govt affirmed that to ensure efficient and reliable power transmission, state-of-the-art technology will be employed.

The project will incorporate a Voltage Source Converter (VSC) based High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) system and Extra High Voltage Alternating Current (EHVAC) systems.

The transmission line will traverse through Himachal Pradesh and Punjab before reaching Kaithal in Haryana, where it will integrate with the national grid. An interconnection has also been planned from this project to Leh’s existing Ladakh grid, guaranteeing a steady power supply to the region.

Furthermore, it will connect to the Leh-Alusteng-Srinagar line, ensuring power reaches Jammu & Kashmir. This extensive project includes the establishment of 713 km of transmission lines, including a 480-kilometer HVDC line and 5 GW capacity HVDC terminals at Pang in Ladakh and Kaithal in Haryana.

The venture is expected to play a pivotal role in India’s ambitious goal of achieving 500 GW of installed electricity capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.

It opens substantial employment opportunities for both skilled and unskilled workers in the power and related sectors, particularly in the Ladakh region.

The project complements the ongoing Intra-State Transmission System Green Energy Corridor Phase-II (InSTS GEC-II) in multiple states, including Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.

The InSTS GEC-II program aims to facilitate grid integration and power evacuation for approximately 20 GW of renewable energy capacity and is projected to be completed by 2026. This initiative entails the addition of 10,753 circuit km of transmission lines and 27,546 MVA capacity of substations, with an estimated project cost of ₹120.31 billion (~$1.4 billion) and CFA amounting to 33%.

The project can be traced back to PM Modi’s Independence Day Speech on August 15, 2020, when he announced the establishment of a colossal 7.5 GW Solar Park in Ladakh. Following extensive field surveys, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) devised a plan to set up a 13 GW renewable energy generation capacity along with a 12 GWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in Pang, Ladakh. To facilitate the evacuation of this substantial energy output, the construction of an inter-state transmission infrastructure is deemed essential.

Recently, the Union Cabinet approved the amendment to the Second Schedule of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act), setting reduced royalty rates for three critical and strategic minerals – lithium, niobium, and Rare Earth Elements (REEs) – used in the energy transition technologies.

Earlier, the Cabinet approved the viability gap funding (VGF) for the development of the battery energy storage systems (BESS) program with an initial allocation of ₹94 billion (~$1.1 billion), which includes budgetary support of ₹37.6 billion (~$452 million).