Punjab New and Renewable Energy Minister Bikram Singh Majithia today said that Punjab has put new milestones in the area of Solar Energy with increasing power generation from 9 MW to 1550 MW in last three years.Stating this here Minister inaugurated 7.5 kilowatt capacity Solar Energy Power Plant for Street Lights started on Kathunanagal-Chawinda Devi Road at a cost of Rs. 20 lakh. The project was made operational by Su-Kamcompany. The Minister said that the border state of Punjab has scripted a new success story on solar energy front by recording stupendous increase in green power generation registering an increase of 172 times from 9 MW to 1550 MW in just three years, which was a new national benchmark.The Minister said that no other state in the country has been able to achieve such a level of growth in such a short time and he was proud that border state of Punjab has recorded massive increase in investment from meagre Rs. 70 crore to Rs. 12,000 crore besides creating employment avenues for 10,000 youth that too in three years. He said that the most interesting part of solar power policy of Punjab was that right from farmer having land holding of 4 acre to multinational companies including Adanis, Wellspun, Essel, Azure etc. are equal partners in the Solar revolution being ushered in by tiny state having 2% geographical area of the country. to make policy all inclusive, rural based and to benefit farmers, the solar policy for farmers has been made which was welcomed by small farmers having land holdings on the borders or in the unproductive areas of Malwa besides marshy land of Mand besides water logged areas of Malwa and Majha.
He said that farmers owning such land holdings were suffering due to its non productivity, meagre contract value and were happy to become partner in a scheme in which he was assured regular income for next 25 years with 5% annual increase besides assuring his majority partnership in the project. He said that such was the encouraging response to the farmer scheme that against the tendered capacity of 500MW they have got firm commitments of 629 MW. He said that he would soon hold an interactive seminar with all such budding farmer investors to guide them to opt right equipment and right technology and to sail them through teething troubles of project management. He said that he was happy that enterprising farmers of Punjab have opted a novel way of diversification that would be copied by farmers of other states.He said that world over solar power was new sunshine area and Punjab has taken the early bud initiative to make most of it. Giving the details, he said that in the first tender they got bids for 269MW and 25 projects of 188MW have already commissioned with an investment of Rs. 1800 crore.
Similarly for the second tender of 250MW in December’2014 in which they got bids for 389 MW out of which 24 projects of 228MW were set to be commissioned by 31st January’2016 with an investment of Rs. 1700 crore. He said that third tender of 500MW was floated in June’2015 and for which they got bids for 1650MW and these projects with Rs. 3000 crore investment could be commissioned on 31st Jan’2017. He said that Rooftop Gross Metering tender for 100MW received encouraging response and this project with Rs. 400 Crore investment would be operational by March’2016. He said that for canal top solar gross metering, 5MW project with Rs. 200 crore investments would be commissioned by March 2017 and farmer solar scheme gross metering tender got applications for 629 MW and these projects with Rs. 3000 crore investment would be operational by March’2017.Highlighting the keen interest of NRIs in solar energy projects, he said that NRIs have made Rs. 655 crore investment for 91MW whereas foreign investors have invested Rs. 562 crore for 79MW projects.Prominent amongst those present included Major Shivi, Talvir Singh Gill, Ranjit Singh WaryamNangal, Prof. Sarchand Singh, Advocate Bhagwant Singh Sialka, Amarjit Singh Bandala etc.