India army troops Ladakh
Indian army soldiers are seen atop a vehicle on a highway leading to Ladakh, at Gagangeer in Kashmir's Ganderbal district September 2, 2020. Image Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: India is planning to install renewable projects to provide its soldiers along chilly Himalayan frontiers with clean energy.

State-run power producer NTPC Ltd. signed an initial agreement with the Indian army to install solar and wind power projects as well as green hydrogen systems to keep the forces warm in sub-zero temperatures and lighted in areas rarely served by a power grid, the company said in an emailed statement Tuesday.

Most of the hilly terrain patrolled by the army is powered by diesel-fuelled generators that depend on heavy logistics for moving the fuel, which emits its own toxic fumes. The mountains of Ladakh - usually sunny during the day despite freezing temperatures - on the border with China can help change that and decarbonise the country’s military operations in the region.

New Delhi has stationed thousands of troops, fighter jets and heavy equipment to protect its 3,488 kilometer-long border with its northern neighbour.

NTPC and the army will together identify sites for setting up the projects, which will be built, owned and operated by the New Delhi-based power producer. The company said the projects will be built in phases but didn’t mention any timelines or investments.

The government is planning to unlock the renewables potential of Ladakh, which can help power the country’s mountainous provinces with clean energy. The nation plans to build transmission lines in the region, hoping to transport 13 gigawatts of clean power.