Solar power projects are set to see a new light in Punjab, with the state government inviting investors for the same.
Punjab, the state with an an average of 300 annual sunny days, is gearing up to utilise the abundant solar potential to its fullest advantage.
The state government has invited investors with the purpose of setting up solar power projects on 6000 acres of land identified by the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA).
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According to reports, village panchayats and private land owners here are participating as well, and are willing to contribute by providing their land on lease. Moreover, land owners will also have the option to collaborate with the developers and work alongside them at terms and conditions finalised by both the parties involved. A farmer can give land after PEDA approval for 30 years at an annual lease Rs. 35,000 to Rs. 50,000 per acre, with a five percent annual escalation.
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Adding to this, Bikram Singh Majithia, New & Renewable Energy Minister, Punjab, said, “We are far ahead of many states to get investments in clean energy. Our aim is to tap 1,000 MW solar energy either from rooftop projects or from the fields by 2017. We have just launched a scheme in which we are encouraging the farmers to set up solar power plants ranging from 1 MW to 2.5 MW in the fields to promote clean energy.”
According to PEDA officials, there has been a 25-fold increase in solar power production in the state in two years. From 9 MW in 2012 to 206 MW in 2015, the major stride taken by Punjab is clearly visible in these numbers.
Majithia also pointed out the financial advantages of this scheme for the farmers, saying – “The lease amount would be an additional income for the farmers, who constitute 60 percent of the state’s total population. They could also cultivate certain crops on land where the solar panels would be set up.”
With investors coming in, and solar projects taking shape as planned, we hope sunshine and rainbows for Punjab are just around the corner.