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Major respite to solar power players in Punjab

According to reports, the solar power players willing to invest in Punjab is likely to get shot in the arm with state government paving the way for leasing out vacant panchayat land to these players.

Many of the players who have signed power purchase agreement (PPA) with state power utility earlier this year has not acquired land citing exorbitant land prices as the stumbling block for setting up power plants in the state.

Officials mentioned that the current notification will assist the developers in speedy implementation of the project as their major concern has been addressed.

It is worth mentioning that in July last year Punjab allocated solar power projects to 26 developers for 250 MW after competitive bidding process. Further, these 26 developers signed power purchase agreement with state power utility for setting up solar projects in the state.

According to sources only 50% of the developers has arranged land either by acquisition or by entering into pact with farmers for leasing.

Sources in the state government told Business Standard that the state’s rural department has issued notification so that the vacant panchayat land can be given to these players on lease hold basis. He added that with new notification in place, many of the potential solar power players will heave sigh of relief.

Among the major companies who are setting up solar power projects are Lanco Solar Energy, Punj Lloyd Infrastructure, Moser Baer Clean Energy, Essel Infra Projects, Asopus Infrastructure (India Bulls), Welspun Solar Punjab , Azure Urja etc.

The solar power projects were awarded in two categories of 1-4 MW and 5-30 MW. In small category of 1-4 MW total 18 companies were awarded power projects to the tune of 50 MW while in 5-30 MW categories 11 renowned companies have been awarded projects for 200 MW solar power.

These players are likely to invest around Rs 2,200-2,500 crore in the state and will take another 13-15 months for completion of project. Currently, the total installed capacity in the state was 10.5 MW of solar Photovoltaic Power, with the commissioning of these units will add another 250 MW in state’s kitty.

Furthermore, the regulatory commission has approved the tariff of Rs 8 per unit on an average at which the state power utility will buy power from these developers.

It is worth noting that till date Punjab has harnessed 569 MW in the Renewable Energy Sector out of which 134 MW in Small & Mini Hydel, 62.5MW in Biomass Power, 362 MW in Co-generation and 10.5MW in Solar Photovoltaic Power sectors.

Further the state has set a target to generate at least 1,000 MW power by 2022 from renewable resources of energy like solar, biomass, co-generation, mini-hydel and solar roof tops in next four years. Having already awarded these 250MW Solar Power Projects, the state was all set to award 300 MW Biomass Power Plants shortly.

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