Punjab on Wednesday achieved another solar milestone with the inauguration of country’s second largest single rooftop two megawatt (MW) project at Mohali besides inauguration of eight other projects with a total capacity of 10 MW.
“Rooftops in Punjab are all set to lighten the rooms and offices in a big way by generating pollution-free power,” said State’s Renewable Energy Minister Bikram Singh Majithia while inaugurating total 10 MW Solar Power Photovoltaic Roof Top Power Plants installed by Azure which are spread across nine locations in the state with an investment of Rs 70 crore.
Majithia, who was accompanied by Agriculture Minister Tota Singh, formally inaugurated the rooftop projects from the new fruit and vegetable market.
He said the latest installations, coupled with the earlier capacity of 58.5 MW, had consolidated Punjab’s position as the number one State in solar rooftop photovoltaic rooftop power plants.
“We realised that we don’t have any idle land and needed to capitalise on our strengths rather than aping others. This resulted in world’s largest rooftop project with a capacity of 19.5 MW coming up at Dera Beas in Amritsar. Today’s projects have further strengthened our position as pioneers in rooftop projects in the country,” said Majithia.
Majithia underlined the need for maximum utilisation of rooftops of Government property to promote clean and green energy in a big way. He said the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) was coordinating with all Government departments to provide rooftops on lease for installing solar power plants for power generation.
He said this would also be an additional source of income for the departments besides contributing to a noble cause.
“We have installed 1050 MW capacity solar power plants which are equivalent to planting 4.30 crore trees,” he said adding that this initiative had also provided direct and indirect jobs to 5,000 youth.
He also added after becoming the fastest growing State on solar power front in India, Punjab would now led the nation in installation of LED based solar streetlights in rural areas. “This drive, which is receiving a massive response from the farmers, would witness villages in districts along the international border and villages in Kandi area being covered on a priority basis,” he said.
Majithia said villages, under the priority category, would have to contribute only Rs1,500 per light, with the balance amount of Rs13,400 per light being met by the State government, PEDA and the Central Government.
Punjab Agriculture Minister Jathedar Tota Singh said Punjab had become power surplus and New and Renewable Department was playing a proactive role in power generation to take our state to new heights in this field.