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Punjab seeks Rs. 4.33 billion for renewable energy projects


According to reports, the Punjab Government today sought Renewable Energy Projects worth Rs. 433 crore from the Union Government to give an impetus to the ongoing solar thermal power plants and bio-mass power projects in the state.

Bikram Singh Majithia, Non Conventional Energy Minister, Punjab today sought this central assistance on Renewable Energy front, when he was called on Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy  Dr. Farooq Abdullah here.

Apprising the Union Minister about the backwardness of border districts of Punjab in the field of Power,  Majithia said that there was more than 550 kilometers long international border with the neighboring country. He said that Punjab Energy Development Agency has conducted a survey in five border districts including Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran, Ferozepur and Fazilka and identified 432 public buildings for installation of Solar Power Plants under “off grid and decentralized solar applications” program. He said that 9 MW roof top power plants could be installed in such buildings till 2015.  Majithia said that the total estimated cost for this project was 243 crore out of which Rs. 218.7 crores to be provided by Union Government. He demanded that out of Union Government assistance first installment of Rs. 72.9 crore to be provided during 2012-13.

Highlighting the Jawahar Lal Nehru National Solar Mission scheme before the Union Minister,  Majithia also demanded that a 10 MW Solar Thermal Power Project under this ambitious scheme of Union Government should be approved for Punjab with an estimated cost of Rs. 150 crore, with 100% financial support from Government of India.

Explaining that the Punjab was the frontrunner in producing paddy for central kitty, as a result of that 21 million tonnes of Rice straw is produced in the state annually,  Majithia said that this large availability of rice straw was not currently utilized for economic activities and farmers preferred to burn standing straws.  Majithia said that there was sufficient availability of Bio-mass in the state to produce around 1000 MW power.

Majithia proposed to take up a 6MW technology demonstration pilot scale project for 100% Rice straw based biomass firing with technology participation of Sardar Swaran Singh National Institute of Renewable Energy, Kapurthala with total funding from Union Government.  Majithia emphasized on the need to expand Sardar Swaran Singh National Institute of Renwable Energy as a hub of Research and development on Bio-Mass energy.

Extending invitation to Dr. Farooq Abdullah to preside over the proposed ‘National Seminar on Bio-Mass Energy’ to be organized by Punjab Government in November 2012,  Majithia said there was a large scope of energy generation through solar and biomass power plants.

After hearing the demands of Punjab Government Dr. Abdullah assured  Majithia that the Union Government would extend all possible assistance to the Punjab in renewable energy. He said that the Union Government has finalized the rooftop solar project of 10 MW for Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Gurdwara at Amritsar, which would become operational within a month.

Reviewing the status of Solar Project for Golden Temple, Dr. Abdullah said that preparation of Langar at Golden Temple through Solar Energy Project would also start soon as all the needful formalities has been completed besides getting clearance from the Finance Department.Prominent amongst those were present on the occasion included  Karan Avtar Singh, Secretary Non Conventional Energy and  Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, PWD Minister, Punjab.


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