EPTA Seeking Resolution of RoW for RE Evacuation Projects in Gujarat

EPTA Seeking Resolution of RoW for RE Evacuation Projects in Gujarat

The EPTA wants timely government intervention for securing RoW resolution so that transmission projects for the evacuation of RE power in Gujarat can resume development at the earliest

EPTA RoW Resolution

The Government of India has set a target for establishing 175 GW renewable capacity in the country by 2022 which includes 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of wind generation capacities. In the state of Gujarat, the renewable energy target assessment takes into consideration a wind potential of about 6 GW in Bhuj complex, 2 GW in Lakadia and 1.5 GW in Dwarka. For the integration and evacuation of power from these generation projects in the above areas, a high capacity of 765 kV and 400 kV transmission system interconnecting Bhuj, Lakadia, Banaskantha, Vadodara & Dwarka along with establishment of 765/400/220 kV new substations at Bhuj-II & Lakadia and 400/220kV new substation at Jam Khambhaliya (Dwarka) have been planned. And now, the Electric Power Transmission Association (EPTA) wants timely government intervention for securing RoW resolution so that the projects, which have already been delayed by the pandemic, can resume development at the earliest to try and abide by their strict deadlines.

It stated that the inter-state transmission schemes have been awarded by the Ministry of Power, GOI under the Tariff Based Competitive Bidding (TBCB) framework and are under various stages of development in the State of Gujarat. It is, therefore, imperative to facilitate uninterrupted construction of transmission projects in Gujarat to enable smooth and timely evacuation of RE power. The transmission projects have been awarded with aggressive commissioning timelines of 18 months to ensure that the transmission evacuation system is in place by the time renewable energy projects awarded by SECI/ MNRE are commissioned by December 2022. 

Linear projects like transmission have little leeway in negotiating ROW (Right of Way), forest, wildlife, defence, airport, coastal zone, etc., and are therefore heavily dependent on active government support and streamlined process definitions. The tight execution timelines further amplify this challenge and complexity. Further, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit everyone brutally and transmission projects under development are not an exception. The upcoming GEC Projects have already lost 5 months and more due to the COVID-19 imposed restrictions. Particularly in Gujarat, unavailability of RoW clearances is affecting the construction schedules of all the transmission projects under development in the region.

Sharing his views on the above concern Vijay Chhibber, Director General, Electric Power Transmission Association (EPTA), said, “The construction and commissioning of transmission projects worth more than Rs 5000 crore is likely to get delayed due to ROW issues. These GOI awarded projects of national importance, are critical for achieving India’s RE goals and thus efforts need to be made to fast-track their execution. In absence of proactive administrative support, the execution of these projects with such aggressive timelines will be a challenge.”

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.