India has approved $2.1 billion in ISTS energy transmission projects

The Indian government has authorized 23 interstate transmission system (ISTS) projects worth Rs158.9 billion ($2.1 billion) to be developed across the country.

Raj Kumar Singh, Union Minister of Power and Minister of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), gave his approval to the projects.

Thirteen of the projects would be constructed using a tariff-based competitive bidding (TBCB) mechanism, with an estimated cost of Rs147.6 billion. The remaining ten will be created under a controlled pricing scheme and would require an investment of Rs11.2 billion.

The projects will build an evacuation system for renewable projects with 14GW of capacity in Rajasthan, 4.5GW in Gujarat, the 1GW Neemuch Solar Park in Madhya Pradesh, and feeding areas around Akhnoor and Jammu by expanding the Siot Substation in Jammu.

Once finished, the transmission network projects will allow electricity to be sent from places with excess capacity to locations where there is a shortage.

After reviewing the recommendations of the National Committee on Transmission and confirming that they were in conformity with the National Tariff Policy 2016, which was notified by the central government, all of the projects were authorized.

With the exception of some important or time-bound initiatives, the policy mandates ISTS projects to be created through TBCB.

“The above transmission network expansion would augment seamless transfer of power from power surplus regions to power deficit regions, thus optimizing the use of generation resources, as well as meeting the demands of end consumers without any transmission constraints,” the Power Ministry said in a statement.

“It would aid in the expansion of renewable energy-based capability.”

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A government committee allegedly authorized the sale of Power Grid Corporation of India’s transmission assets for Rs71.64 billion in September. During the fiscal year, the state-owned company’s five TBCB assets were to be sold through an infrastructure investment trust model.