India has shared details of large power transmission projects dedicated for renewable energy projects in the western parts of the country. The transmission projects are part of the Green Energy Corridors program that was envisaged to support the massive renewable energy capacity addition targets announced by the Indian government.
India’s largest power transmission company, the state-owned Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL), recently shared proposals to set up transmission projects worth $1.8 billion in the western states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Rajasthan. The transmission projects will support wind and solar power projects with a combined installed capacity of 25.4 gigawatts across the three states.
The current proposal is part of a much larger plan to set up transmission projects dedicated to solar and wind energy farms spread across seven renewable energy-rich states in the country. As part of this plan, transmission projects to support 50 gigawatts of solar and 16.5 gigawatts of wind energy capacity shall be set up. This larger plan is divided into two phases — under phase I, transmission projects for 20 gigawatts of solar and 9 gigawatts of wind energy capacity shall be set up by December 2020, while under phase II, projects for 30 gigawatts of solar and 7.5 gigawatts of wind energy capacity shall be set up by December 2021.
The states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh will have transmission projects to support 28 gigawatts of solar and wind energy capacity by the end of 2021.
PGCIL proposes to set up a transmission network with an investment of Rs 5,641 crore (US$810 million) in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. The projects will support 13.5 gigawatts of wind energy capacity and 3 gigawatts of solar power capacity. A substantial volume of the wind energy capacity is believed to be part of the capacity auctioned by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) under the central government’s policy.
For the state of Rajasthan, PGCIL has proposed setting up transmission projects to support 8.9 gigawatts of solar power capacity across three solar power parks in the state at Bhadla, Bikaner, and Fatehgarh. The transmission projects will be built at an estimated cost of Rs 7,041 crore (US$1.01 billion).
These transmission projects are critical for India to achieve, or even get close to, the ambitious target to have 100 gigawatts of solar power and 60 gigawatts of wind energy capacity operational by March 2022. The lack of adequate transmission network has been an issue that kept project developers from bidding in large-scale renewable energy projects.