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Ladakh to house world’s largest solar power project

According to reports, India is planning to build the world’s largest solar power project in the cold desert of Ladakh. To be built by the Union ministry of new and renewable energy, the project will be able to generate 5,000 megawatts of power, which will be the biggest in the country and the world. The biggest so far was to be built in Rajasthan with a capacity of generating 4,000 megawatt of solar power.
The new power project will be set up in Leh district which is at the altitude of 11562 feet and known as roof of the world. The project requires at least 20,000 acres of land .

“They (Union ministry of new and renewable energy) have asked for 20,000 acres of land where this project could be built. My job is to find out the land and rest of the things are to be done by the government of India,” Simrandeep Singh, district development commissioner of Leh, told dna.

The district administration of Leh is starting the process of identifying the suitable land within a month’s time. “We have not zeroed in on anything so far. We need a huge patch of land.  Let us see. It (process of identifying land) will be taken up in one month’s time,” he said.

Though no time line has been given, the power project once completed will not only meet the local demand but can make Jammu and Kashmir a power surplus state. Experts said surplus power could be sold to other states as well.
“India has 5000 megawatt hydro power projects. It will be the first solar power project with 5000 megawatt capacity,” said Singh.

Ladakh has a huge potential in tapping solar power. Vast patches of barren land surrounded by gigantic mountains make Leh a suitable place for setting up the solar power plants.

However the power project will take years or even decades to complete given the location disadvantage and climatic problems. “Once the project is complete, we may need a fresh transmission line for power supply and distribution,” said an expert.

Rigzin Spalbar, chief executive councilor of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, however told dna that the project is just at a proposal stage and it will take another 20 years for completion.

“They are talking of generating 2030 megawatt (of solar power) in another 20 years. This is just a proposal so far,” he said.

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