With the inauguration of a four-megawatt (Mw) solar power plant at Boha on Wednesday, Punjab took a giant leap towards realising its dream of becoming a solar state.
Inaugurated by Punjab Non-Conventional Energy Minister Bikram Singh Majithia, the Rs 33.75-crore solar power plant set up by Gujarat-based Madhav Solar would generate six million units annually to meet the state government's target of 1,250 Mw of solar power within three years.
Majithia said it was a matter of pride for the state that companies successfully running solar power projects in Gujarat were now finding Punjab as a land of opportunities for their expansion.
He said the Punjab government had undertaken a comprehensive exercise to identify all the available panchayati and non-cultivable lands for setting up solar power plants having joint generation capacity of 1,000 Mw power in the state.
The Union ministry of non-conventional & renewable energy has in-principle agreed to set up an ultra mega solar power park. A detailed project report for setting up of 100 Mw solar power plants on all major canals flowing through the state has also been submitted to the Union government.
He said the world's single largest rooftop plant of 7.5 Mw capacity has been set up at Beas in Amritsar district. It was constructed at a cost of Rs 150-200 crore. Rooftop solar photovoltaic plants were also being set up in 120 police stations across the state.
Majithia said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal would inaugurate the project soon.
He said the state government was also exploring the possibility of setting up solar power clusters to energise agricultural pumps.
The Punjab Energy Development Agency had prepared a proposal for exploring the mechanism by which power for agricultural use can be provided from solar photovoltaic pumps or power plants.
The government's subsidy for agricultural power can be diverted for setting up of the one-time solar power projects infrastructure in the state, thereby saving the recurring subsidy bill.