India's first geothermal power plant will be set up in Ladakh, said Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) on Monday.
For running a power plant with a capacity of one megawatt (MW), ONGC will drill up to 500 meters to trap the steam and hot Sulphur water, in the first phase, reported Times of India.
Deeper drilling will be done in the second phase to explore the potential of the thermal reservoir. In the third phase, a commercial-scale power plant will be set up.
In a geothermal power plant, hot water or the steam is piped to the surface and then supplied to a turbine that generates electricity. To extract hot water or steam that originates deep inside the Earth, wells are dug in areas where the temperature changes faster as we go deep.
"To formalise this, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed by ONGC Energy Centre (OEC) with the territory of Ladakh and Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh on February 6," ONGC said.
"Farming in Ladakh can be revolutionized by Geothermal resource development, which is now totally dependent for supply of fresh vegetables, fruits from outside the union territory round the year. Further, direct heat energy applications make it most relevant in Ladakh," added the statement.
Radha Krishna Mathur, Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, said, "The signing of MoU with ONGC for the first geothermal project in India is a step towards innovative and sustainable development of Ladakh and also a step towards achieving the goal of carbon-neutral Ladakh."
"We need to study and learn from other countries about developing tourism and greenhouse around the geothermal project," added Mathur.
The lieutenant governor thanked ONGC Energy Centre for commencing the geothermal project in Ladakh. He also urged the ONGC to execute the project at the earliest and ramp it up to 200 MW capacity for greater benefit, reported ET Energy World.
Geothermal energy is an energy source that is stored in the form of heat beneath the earth's surface, which is clean, renewable, sustainable, carbon-free, continuous, uninterrupted, and environment-friendly. This energy is the only renewable energy available 24x7 to mankind not requiring storage and unaffected by day-night or seasonality variance.