July 16, 2015 09:23 PM

Sangatpura (Sunam) (Akhilesh Bansal)

Punjab today took a big leap by dedicating 10.50 MW Solar Power Plant to the nation thereby becoming first state in the country to operationalize 117 MW solar powers within last four months and emerged as the dream destination for investment in solar sector due to investor friendly initiatives of the state government.In an impressive function held here today, the Punjab New & Renewable Energy Minister Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia along with Sant Balvir Singh Ghunas and Mr. Parkash Chand Garg, both Chief Parliamentary Secretaries inaugurated 10.50 MW solar power project set up by Omega Solar Projects Private Limited, Solar power subsidiary of world renowned major infrastructure Lanco Group having gross turnover of Rs. 10000 crore. This 10.50 MW plant has been set up at the cost of Rs. 84 crore in 45 acres of land taken on lease by the company. It may be mentioned here that Lanco group has mega thermal and solar power projects in the country.Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Majithia said that the tiny steps started three years ago in renewable energy sector has now become giant leaps with world renowned solar power companies investing liberally in the state keeping in view its progressive and investor friendly approach. He said that major solar power developers like Lanco, Solairedirect and Acme etc have come to Punjab after getting convinced with the novel initiative of "Invest Punjab" started by Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal and pro investor approach of New & Renewable Energy department. Mr. Majithia revealed that Acme Group was all set to operationalize their 100 MW Solar projects in district Mansa by March 2016 and French solar giant ‘SOLAIREDIRECT’ to add 54 MW  in its present capacity of 34 mw solar power  in district Fazilka.Speaking on occasion, Mr. Krishan Mohan Vadhera, GM, Lanco Group shared his experience of setting up this project and cooperation extended by state government in timely execution of the project. He said that the positive approach of the Punjab Government & the support of the Punjab Energy Development Agency have boosted their confidence and they would soon invest in a big way in RE sector in state. He categorically said that Punjab has best RE Policy in country with unique facilities like single window clearances and 25 years power purchase agreement. He said that Lanco group would soon announce a big solar project for the state.

Mr. Majithia said our government was committed for promoting green and clean energy to make its humble contribution in meeting the challenges of global warming looming large on one hand to hand over a more green and  better livable planet to our future generations. He revealed that the Punjab was all set to operationalize 500 MW solar powers by March 2016 and with finalization of two more schemes for Farmers’ and major solar companies, the target was to achieve 1000 MW solar power generation by March 2017. He said that the farmers of Punjab have been evincing keen interest in solar power as PEDA has recently got Expressions of Interest for 1200 MW as farmers offered more than 6000 acres against the initial estimates of 500 MW. He said that the state farmers were now getting remunerative lease rates besides high rates even for non-fertile lands. He informed that besides solar power our government was also committed for harnessing the abundant potential available for biomass energy with dual aim of enhancing the farmers’ income from agri-waste on one hand and saving the environment on the other.The Minister revealed that number of NRIs was opting for solar power and till date they have invested Rs. 245 crore in five projects having joint power generation capacity of 45 MW. He said that number of other such projects by NRIs were under different stages of implementation.Mr. Majithia said that the concerted efforts of Punjab on Renewable Energy (RE) front have got national recognition as the Prime Minister has awarded it as best performing state on RE front during International REINVEST Summit-2015 held in New Delhi. Besides this, Renewable Energy Promotion Association (REPA) has also awarded Punjab as the Best Bio-energy State of India with highest installed capacity of rural agro waste based – biomass energy conversion projects. Punjab has 62.5 MW capacities in biomass power generation, he added.Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Sant Balvir Singh Ghunas , CPS appreciated the efforts of Mr. Majithia on solar power front and expressed confidence that the intelligent and progressive Punjabis would make a significant contribution in path breaking initiatives of state in renewable energy sector.Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included; Mr. Upkar Singh Sandhu, Chairman, PEDA, Mr. B. Venkateswarlu, Director, Lanco Group, Mr. Sanjay Varghese, Chief Operating Officer, Omega Solar Projects Private Limited, Mr. Winnerjit Singh Goldy, Vice Chairman, PRTC and Mr. Teja Singh Kamalpur, President, SAD Sangrur unit, Dr. Amarpal Singh, CEO, PEDA and Mr. Balour Singh, Director, PEDA. 

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