No suitable land in Kashmir for solar energy project

No suitable land in Kashmir for solar energy project
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SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency (JKEDA) is finding it difficult to identify a swathe of land for development of mega solar energy. Sources in the JKEDA said that the entire Kashmir Valley has been scrutinised for the required land, but securing the right one is fraught with problems.
“For the project, we need minimum 500 acres of land. Then more land for transmission lines,” sources who have been working on the project told Kashmir Reader.
“In the Valley, land is scarcely available. Wherever it is available, there is no transmission system, a very important requirement. So, before setting up the project, we have to think of combining the two, which has many administrative glitches,” sources said. They added that at present, the agency is trying to find land in Budgam district.
According to the study of the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Jammu and Kashmir has solar power potential of 111.05 GWp, which is the second highest in India after Rajasthan, where the potential is 142.32 GWp. None of the other states has the potential even up to 65 GWp. Regions of Ladakh and Kargil have also the second-highest radiation penetration in India, and highest in the state.
“Another issue is unavailability of qualified transmission line, and the mountainous terrain makes it more difficult,” sources said.
At present, sources said, land has been identified at Sambha and Doda in Jammu region. A consultant, sources said, has been hired to study it. The consultant will submit a report before any step is taken.
Unavailability of transmission line and power evacuation system in Kargil and Leh are the stumbling blocks for the installation of mega solar projects. Sources said that the lines and the evacuation system have to be put in place before the project can start.
During the previous government led by Omar Abdullah, two major projects with the potential of generating 7500 MW were sanctioned for Leh and Kargil districts. A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed between the Government of India’s New and J&K’s Renewable Energy and Science and Technology Ministry in March 2014 and May 2014.