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Punjab hopeful of exceeding solar power production

With about 210 megawatts (Mw) of solar power projects on various stages of construction in the state, Punjab is hopeful of exceeding the solar power renewable purchase obligation (RPO) in 2014-15.

The state is targeting to generate 250 Mw power from solar projects. Currently, the total solar power installed capacity in the state is 58 Mw.

Speaking to Business Standard, Punjab Energy Development Agency (Peda) Chief Executive Officer Amarpal Singh, said, “In July 2013, we had allotted letter of awards to 39 projects for 250 Mw solar projects with a joint investment of Rs 2,500-3,000 crore. Out of the total, 39 Mw has already been commissioned and we expect the rest of the projects, which are on the various stages of construction, would be commissioned by March 31, 2015. We are hopeful the state’s total power generation from solar would be 250 Mw that will not only help us meet the RPO target but exceed it.”

Peda is a nodal agency for the promotion and development of renewable energy programmes and projects in the state. The state failed to meet solar renewable purchase obligation (RPO) in 2012-13.

According to the solar RPO, targets define how much electricity in the country is estimated to be produced from renewable energy sources. The RPO policy, devised under the National Action Plan on Climate Change, is aimed to produce green electricity.

In Punjab, the solar power projects have been awarded in two categories, one of (one to four Mw) and the other of (five to 30 Mw).

In the first category, 18 companies were awarded power projects to the tune of 50 mw while in the other one, 11 renowned companies had been awarded projects of 200 mw solar power.

Among the major companies awarded were Lanco Solar Energy, Punj Lloyd Infrastructure, Moser Baer Clean Energy, Essel Infra Projects, Asopus Infrastructure (India Bulls), Welspun Solar Punjab and Azure Urja.

However, due to some regulatory issues, there was some delay in signing of Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) by private players. After signing of PPA, it takes 13-15 months for the completion of the project.

Besides, the Union Non-Conventional Energy Ministry had given its approval to establish a 1,000-mw solar park for which process of land identification has been completed.

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