1.5-MW Biaras small hydro plant commissioned in India

The 1.5-MW Biaras small hydro plant — located in Biaras Drass, Kargil District of Jammu & Kashmir, India — has been commissioned.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy of the Government of India says the plant was commissioned Nov. 4 at a total cost of INR17 crore (US$2.6 million). The project was developed by the Kargil Renewable Energy Agency under the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council. It was fully funded by the ministry and is the first project to be commissioned under the Prime Minister’s Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative.

This initiative was sanctioned in June 2010 to promote renewable energy in the Ladakh region. One aspect of the initiative was the development of hydro projects up to 2 MW in capacity “to attract investors for the development of the state’s water resources and to provide a solution to the energy problems in remove and hilly areas where extension of grid system was un-economical or un-viable.”

Biaras will power the town of Drass, and it will provide enough electricity to meet the normal requirements of about 1,000 families, the ministry says, in hat is “one of the coldest places in India.”

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