Sun shines in Punjab as solar energy has started empowering farmers hereसौरभ राय
Punjab Energy Development Authority (PEDA) has decided to help farmers to set up solar plants of a minimum capacity of 1 MW and maximum of 2.5 MW.
According to PTI, the Renewable Energy minister of Punjab, Bikram Singh Majithia, after inaugurating a 4 MW solar power plant in Bathinda, said that farmers had already evinced keen interest in this scheme and applications had been received to set up projects in 2,000 acres of land. Disclosing the state’s plans to develop renewable energy resources, Majithia said he had set a target of increasing the percentage of renewable energy in the total energy generated in the state to 15 per cent.
“We have set targets to develop 5400 MW total non- conventional power capacity by the year 2022 with the generation of 300 MW from biomass, 680 MW from co-generation power, 4200 MW from solar, 200 MW from hydel and 20 MW by converting waste to energy,” he said.
The 4 MW solar power plant inaugurated recently was spread over 19.4 acres of land. Constructed with an investment of Rs 35 crore by an Israel based company, it would produce 14000 to 18000 units of power daily, an official spokesman said. This is the fourth such solar power plant in Bathinda district.
Giving details of initiatives taken by Punjab government to tap solar power, Majithia said that in the first phase 250 MW solar power projects worth Rs 1700 crore were allocated, 24 Projects of 184 MW worth Rs 1300 crore were commissioned and 4 projects of 38 MW were under implementation. He said against latest tender of 250 MW Solar power Phase-II, bids for 389 MW were received and 24 Projects of 229 MW worth Rs 1600 crore were allocated.
He said that PEDA would soon come out with a Farmers Solar Power Generation scheme of 500 MW.
“The Punjab government is also set to introduce a land lease policy for farmers for setting up of renewable energy projects. The policy, which is approved by PEDA, would safeguard the interests of farmers and ensure they get more lease value for their land as compared to market rates with yearly increment of 6%”, Majithia said.
PEDA will facilitate setting up of projects related to renewable sources of energy on farmer-owned land wherein private investors will take the land on lease from farmers for a period of 25 years. “The project envisages creating farmer entrepreneurs as well as supplementing income sources of the farming community,” he said.
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