Punjab today achieved another solar milestone with the inauguration of the country’s second largest single rooftop 2 MW project here besides inauguration of eight other projects with a total capacity of 10 MW by New and Renewable Energy minister Bikram Singh Majithia.Rooftops in Punjab are all set to lighten the rooms and offices in a big way by generating pollution free power, said Mr Bikram Majithia while inaugurating the total 10 MW Solar Power Photovoltaic Roof Top Power Plants installed by Azure which are spread across nine locations in the state with an investment of 70 crore. The minister, who was accompanied by Agriculture minister Tota Singh, formally inaugurated the rooftop projects from the new fruit and vegetable market here.Stating the latest installations coupled with the earlier capacity of 58.5 MW had consolidated Punjab’s position as the number one State in solar rooftop photovoltaic rooftop power plants, he said the rooftop projects germinated from out of box thinking on the part of the New and Renewable Energy ministry. “We realized that we don’t have any idle land and needed to capitalize on our strengths rather than aping others. This resulted in the world’s largest rooftop project with a capacity of 19.5 MW coming up at Dera Beas in Amritsar. Today’s projects have further strengthened our position as pioneers in rooftop projects in the country”, he added.
Mr. Majithia underlined the need for maximum utilization of rooftops of government property to promote clean and green energy in a big way. He said that Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) was coordinating with all government departments to provide rooftops on lease for installing solar power plants for power generation. He said that this would also be an additional source of income for the departments besides contributing to a noble cause. “We have installed 1050 MW capacity solar power plants which are equivalent to planting 4.30 crore trees”, he said adding this initiative had also provided direct and indirect jobs to 5,000 youth.The minister also disclosed that after becoming the fastest growing state on solar power front in India, Punjab would now lead the nation in installation of LED based solar streetlights in rural areas. He said this drive, which was receiving a massive response from farmers, would witness villages in districts along the international border and villages in Kandi area being covered on a priority bases. He said villages under the priority category would have to contribute only Rs.1500 per light, with the balance amount of Rs.13,400 per light being met by the State government, PEDA and Government of India.
Punjab Agriculture Minister Jathedar Tota Singh said that Punjab has become power surplus and New and Renewable Department was playing a proactive role in power generation to take our state to new heights in this field.Azure Solar Power Chairman Mr. HS Wadhwa said the unmatched support provided by Punjab government, PEDA and Investment Bureau had encouraged it to invest Rs 1,500 crores in this field.Talking about this new venture of 10 MW rooftop solar project, he said this included installation of 2MW at New fruit and vegetable market SAS Nagar, 1.85 MW at ITC warehouse Chunni Kalan, 1.6 MW at TATA Warehouse Morinda, 1.25 MW at Skyross PEPSICO warehouse, Channo , 0.76MW at New vegetable market Ludhiana, 1.25 MW at Godrej Warehouse, Zirakpur, 0.63MW at New Grain Market, Mansa, 0.6MW at C.A Veg fruit stores, Kharar and 0.55MW at Reliance warehouse, Fatehgarh Sahib. Mr. NK Sharma Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Ravinder Singh Cheema, Vice Chairman Punjab Mandi Board, Mr. Anirudh Tiwari Principal Secretary, New and Renewable Energy and Dr. Amarpal Singh CEO, PEDA were also present on the occasion. EOM