The Punjab Solar Summit-2015 can be said to be a beginning of yet another era. Success of the summit held at Chandigarh on July 23, 2015 has proved to be a milestone in history of Punjab as it was first ever such initiative in the state. It aimed to bring prospective entrepreneurs, investors and other stake holders on one platform. The New and Renewable Energy Minister Bikram Singh Majithia is the man behind making Punjab a solar state, which he says was his dream since he had occupied the office. The Solar Power Summit-2015 proved to be a major endeavor in converting his dream into a revolution.
Punjab’s Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal presided over the summit where he congratulated Bikram Singh Majithia and his entire team for phenomenal success in the field of solar energy. He, further, called farmers in the state to establish mini solar plants in their lands and assured that the government was open to subsidize the installation cost of the plants for agricultural usage using the funds that are given to PSPCL for providing free electricity.
Under the guidance of Mr. Majithia, Punjab has achieved exceptional energy capacity addition increasing it from 9MW in 2012 to 541MW in 2015. Punjab is the only state in the nation to add 117MW of solar energy capacity in one year. At the summit, he announced that the state has taken new initiatives to expand the solar power projects. He also said that his ministry will allow establishment of mega projects of 50MW each. This has only been possible due exceptionally great policies implemented in the state. The solar power project received major support from PSPCL with its 25 year power purchase agreement.
Go Solar move in Punjab is riding on high success after the summit as more investors than ever are now showing interest in it. Keeping in view the installation costs of the projects, the entrepreneurs bidding for the project will be eligible for subsidy of Rs. 3.5 crore per MW. Mr. Majithia thanked companies that helped in realization of the dream and also extended his gratitude to the NRI investors from their immense response and crucial investment. 47 investors were honored on the day who also lauded Punjab Government for their amazing facilitation and support.
The state of Punjab is now targeting establishment of 2000MW of solar generation capacity. Over 6000 acres of land has already been registered with PEDA for the purpose. The solar power is expected to reduce the burden on the thermal plants and lessen the free power subsidy quotient in the long run. Punjab is rapidly progressing in the field and is attracting the investors. This has also proved to be boon for the farmers in the state who are called by the government to become entrepreneurs and can sell extra energy to PSPCL as good rates. An overwhelming response over installation of their own mini solar plants is being received from the farmers.