Punjab is giving a major push to solar energy with projects being allocated for generating solar power to the tune of 1,550 MW with an investment of Rs 12,000 crore, the state’s New and Renewable Energy Minister Bikram Singh Majithia said here today. “In 2012, we had 9 MW of solar projects involving an investment of Rs 70 crore. In just three years, we have allotted 1,550 MW of solar power projects with an investment of Rs 12,000 crore, creating employment avenues for 10,000 youths,” he said at a press conference here. Companies like Adani, Welspun, Essel, Azure have invested in the field of solar power projects in a big way, he said.
“No other state in the country has been able to achieve such a level of growth in such a short time in solar projects,” Majithia said while attributing the interest of project developers in the state to transparent regime of SAD-BJP led government. “The most interesting part of solar power policy of Punjab is that right from farmer having land holding of four acre to multinational companies including Adanis, Welspun, are equal partners in the solar revolution being ushered in by tiny state having 2 per cent geographical area of the country,” the minister said. 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, besides marshy land and water logged areas of Malwa and Majha regions.
Giving details, Majithia said in the first tender in 2013, the government got bids for 269 MW and 25 projects of 188 MW have already commissioned with an investment of Rs 1,800 crore. Similarly for the second tender of 250 MW in December 2014, bids for 389 MW were received out of which 24 projects of 228 MW are set to be commissioned by January 31, 2016 with an investment of Rs 1,700 crore, he said. The third tender of 500 MW was floated in June 2015, for which the government got bids for 1650 MW and these projects with Rs 3,000 crore investment could be commissioned by January 2017, he said.