Majithia inks MoUs worth rs 13,500 crore for Solar projects in punjab

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(Punjab also signs mou for five bio ethanol plants worth Rs 6,000 crore)

(Urges entrepreneurs to use 22,000 acre Ranjit Sagar reservoir to produce 2,000 mw solar energy)

(Urges centre to come up with a revised tariff for bio mass power)

NewZNew (New Delhi) : Punjab New and Renewable Energy minister Bikram Singh Majithia today inked memorandums of understanding (mous) worth Rs 13,500 crore for investment in solar projects besides setting up of five bio ethanol plants worth Rs 6,000 crore in Punjab at the first Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet and Expo here.

Among the mous signed today included one for 500 MW ground based power plants with an investment of Rs. 4000 crore by 8-Minute Energy, California, 100 MW Solar power projects with an investment of Rs. 800 crore by Progetika-SRC, Italy, 300 MW canal based solar power plants with an investment of Rs. 2400 crore by Lightsource Renewable Development Ltd. UK, 200 MW Solar power projects with an investment of Rs. 1400 crore by PLG Energy Systems, Rs 900 crore Solar/Biomass complex by Spray Engineers, Mohali besides R&D/Training/Technological development collaboration between British Photovoltaic Association, UK and PEDA.

Mr Bikram Majithia also finalised a mou with CVC India Infrastructure, Italy for establishment of five bio-ethanol based refineries based on paddy straw, napier grass and cotton stalks at a cost of Rs 6,000 crore. CVC officials said they intend to commence commercial production by December 2017 for the first bio-refinery.

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Mr Majithia during interactions with investors today appreciated the commitment of Lightsource Renewable Development to come up with appropriate technology for a canal based solar project utilising the space available on canals from a width of fifty meters to five meters. He said there was a huge potential for canal based projects as the total canal length in the State ran up to 5,000 kilometers.

He also mooted a proposal to set up floating solar panels on 22,000 acres of reservoir of the Ranjit Sagar dam. He said this project alone could result in harnessing of 2000 mw of solar power. Lightsource officials said they had established a floating solar park in England and would undertake a study to replicate the same at Ranjit Sagar.

In order to encourage net metering, the minister also discussed with investors to establish pilot net metering projects to demonstrate to individual household owners the profitability of establishing rooftop solar panels.

The Renewable Energy minister who also participated in a session in which States showcased their efforts, while equating Punjab as the land of the five rivers, said solar power projects also needed to be divided into five categories of ground based, rooftop based, canal based, reservoir based and net metered projects.

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He also stressed on the need to lay more stress on bio mass power. Stating that this potential had not been harnessed at all, the minister said in Punjab alone 20 million tonnes of agriculture residue was being burnt every year. Urging the policy makers to come up with a revised tariff for bio mass projects, Mr Majithia said this was important so that farmers could also earn an additional income. “Economies of scale will reduce the tariff rates progressively as has happened in the case of solar power”, he added.

He also highlighted how a 7.5 mw rooftop solar project had been established in Punjab at Beas besides adding that that the capacity of the project would be increased to 35 mw in due course to make it the largest rooftop solar project in the world.

Others present on the occasion included Secretary Power Anirudh Tewari, PEDA CEO Dr Amarpal Singh and PEDA Director Director Balaur Singh.

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