Mapping of the available potential has been done on the main canals and there is a potential of more than 1500 MW for installation of Solar Power Projects, informed G.S.Kangar, Power Minister, Punjab. Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India, has sanctioned 100 MW capacity in the country. Out of which 20 MW capacity Pilot-cum-Demonstration Project for Development of Grid Connected Solar PV Power Plants on Canal Tops has been allotted to the State of Punjab. Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) has successfully completed and commissioned the entire 20 MW capacity projects allotted to the State. Two projects of 7.50 MW each have been commissioned on Ghaggar Branch Canal and Ghaggar Link Canal in March 2018 and two of 2.50 MW each were commissioned on Sidhwan Branch Canal and Ghaggar Branch Canal respectively in March 2017.Tapping its resources well, State is scaling heights in New & Non Renewable Energy sector where in Canal Top Solar Projects will emerge as a revolution. They provide an alternative to add pollution free solar generation capacity since they utilize the vacant space over the canals and no land cost is involved, said Mr. Kangar.
Listing the uniqueness of Canal Top Solar PV Projects, he claimed that the projects have been designed in such a fashion that the canal banks are not touched for the safety of the canal and inhabitants in the vicinity of the canals. The structural design for module mounting structures is very unique having combination of RCC piling & ground anchoring. Additionally, the super structure is based on steel in tension cable technology and space frame concept. Moreover, this saves land of about 100 acres and reduces CO2 emission of 7500 tons per annum which would otherwise have occurred to generate energy to an equivalent amount by non renewable resourses.Mr. N.P.S. Randhawa, CEO,PEDA informed that these projects have been implemented by Punjab Energy Development Agency under the NRSE Policy-2012 on Build, Operate & Own (BOO) basis through the private developers under the guidelines of MNRE,GOI, on the irrigation canals. The available Central Financial Assistance (CFA) for the Canal Top SPV Projects is Rs. 3.00 crore per MW or 30% of the project cost whichever is lower.