Separate grid for solar parks

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While the first version of the ambitious Green Corridors project for evacuation of renewable power remains in the slow lane, Power Grid Corporation has floated a second version aimed at evacuating power from 20 solar parks planned by 12 states.

The Green Corridors project is a dedicated transmission network for renewable energy evacuation, designed by state-owned Power Grid Corporation. The inter-state lines will be laid by Power Grid Corporation and the intra-state ones by the state transmission utilities or by a tender.

In a meeting held for the new transmission network last month, Power Grid Corporation informed the government that it would develop a separate project for evacuation of power from solar parks.

Of a total 22,100 Mw capacity of Ultra Mega Solar Power Parks envisaged in 12 states, about 17,620 Mw, including 7,500 Mw from Jammu and Kashmir, would be evacuated inter-state and the balance 4,480 Mw by state transmission utilities, said the minutes of the meeting.

Government officials said most of the projects would go to Power Grid Corporation through consultation. “While, the inter-state lines have been nominated to Power Grid Corporation, the intra-state lines have also been given to it for sub-tendering,” they say.

After 2011, all transmission projects are required to be awarded through competitive bidding, except projects of strategic importance. The Rs 34,000 crore first version of the Green Corridors project has made slow progress. Creation of an intra-state transmission system in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan was approved by the Cabinet in July 2015 at an estimated cost of Rs 8,458.68 crore with Rs 3,419.47 crore from the National Clean Energy fund .

Two states, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, have prepared  detailed project reports for intra-state evacuation. The intra-state transmission system is to be funded as a KfW loan (40 per cent of the cost), NCEF grant (40 per cent) and the remaining 20 per cent as state contribution.

German federal bank KfW signed a sovereign-guaranteed loan of Euro 500 million for the Green Corridors project in 2014.

For inter-state lines Power Grid Corporation  has approval for sub-tendering out projects in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. It had opened 14 bids for transmission line packages, said government officials.

Source: Business Standard

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