India has progressed a plan to build a mammoth 12GWh battery energy storage system four times larger than the existing record holder as part of a 13GW green energy project.

India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved on Wednesday an inter-state transmission system needed to support the huge renewables hub.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in 2020 announced a plan to set up a 7.5GW solar park in India’s northern Ladakh region.

Ladakh is well suited for solar due to its very strong irradiation and high altitude offering low temperatures.

Ladakh is part of the politically sensitive Kashmir region, which borders Pakistan and China, and has complex mountainous terrain along with a strong military presence.

That solar park would itself more than double what is widely reported to be the world’s largest current solar project in commission, the 2.8GW Golmud Solar Park in China. However even larger solar parks are also in the works in support of green hydrogen projects.

Following Modi’s announcement, India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy prepared a plan to set up 13GW green energy park, incorporating a 12GWh battery energy storage system.

The Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility in California is said to be the world’s largest current battery energy storage facility – but at 3GWh it is dwarfed by the planned Ladakh project.

The transmission line the CCEA has approved will transport the huge volumes of green energy produced through two other northern states down to the city of Kaithal, just north of New Delhi. There it will be integrated into the national grid.

The CCEA has approved $2.5bn for this “Green Energy Corridor” that it plans to have operational by the 2029/30 financial year.

“Keeping in view the complex terrain, adverse climatic conditions and defence sensitivities of Ladakh region,” CCEA said that India’s state-owned Power Grid Corporation will lead the project.

It said that “state of the art” high-voltage direct current (HVDC) power lines using voltage source converters, as well as extra high voltage alternating current lines, will be used.

The project entails setting up of 713km of transmission lines, including 480km of HVDC line, said CCEA.

The project will contribute to achieving India’s target of 500GW of installed electricity capacity from non-fossil fuels by 2030, it said. It will also help in “developing long term energy security” and promoting “ecologically sustainable growth”.