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Amid stand-off with China, Army to source green hydrogen power for Eastern Ladakh

For powering up forward bases and deployments in Eastern Ladakh, Army signs MoU with NTPC REL to develop a green-hydrogen-based power plant; move will cut dependence on diesel-run generators.

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New Delhi: Amid the continued stand-off with China in Eastern Ladakh, the Army is going for a green-hydrogen-based micro-grid project to power up its forward bases and deployments along the northern borders and in Eastern Ladakh.

The move comes at a time when the protracted stand-off with China at the western sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is entering its third year.

“The Indian Army has become the first government organisation to enter into an agreement with National Thermal Power Corporation Renewable Energy Limited with firm plans to roll out similar projects in the future,” the army said in a statement.

Sources in the defence and security establishment explained that until now these areas, which were cut off from the power grid, were being powered through diesel-run generators.

With this MoU, the dependence on diesel-run generators will decrease, along with a reduction in the emission of harmful pollutants.

Sources added that the plan envisages the development of solar power plants. Solar power plants, they explained, would be used to conduct the hydrolysis of water to produce hydrogen. Consequently, this hydrogen will be stored in cylinders and used to provide power through fuel cells during non-solar hours.

While the exact location for the plant has not been identified, a few shortlists have been put forward. The project will first be carried out in one location and then be extended, sources added.

“Indian Army is providing requisite land on lease for 25 years with a commitment to purchase generated power through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The proposed projects will be installed by NTPC on Build, Own and Operate (BOO) Models at a jointly identified location in Eastern Ladakh,” the statement said.

The Memorandum of Understanding for the project between the Army and the National Thermal Power Corporation Renewable Energy Limited was signed on Tuesday.

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