North India’s largest 34 MW solar power plant worth Rs 350 crore started producing power for 250 villages of Lambi from Friday.
Set up by a private company, Azure Power, in the VIP constituency on around 170 acres, the plant was inaugurated by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and non-conventional and renewable energy minister Bikram Singh Majithia at a function hosted by the company.
Azure’s chairman HS Wadhwa, CEO Inderpreet Wadhwa, and co-founder Preet Sandhu were also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, the deputy chief minister claimed that by the end of this year, Punjab would be able to generate 250 MW power from solar projects and by the end of next year, the state would achieve solar generation capacity of 2000 MW.
Gains for the state
Majithia said Punjab was growing by leaps and bounds in the area of solar power as this was the sixth project in the state.
He said the union ministry of non conventional energy had given its nod to establish a 1,000 MW solar park for which the process of land identification had been completed. He said it was a matter of pride for Punjab to have the world’s biggest 7.5 MW rooftop solar power plant at Beas.
CEO Inderpreet Wadhwa said, “Azure Power started its operation in Punjab in 2009 with 2 MW and is a gigawatt solar power company now. We have set up a 34 MW solar plant, largest of its kind in Northern India (awarded by PEDA through bidding), with an investment of 350 crore at Panjava village in Lambi.”
HS Wadhwa, chairman of Azure said, “The project is supplying electricity to 250 villages and over 1 lakh households. Azure Power has signed an MOU for a 150 MW power plant with Punjab which will be set up at a cost of Rs 1,500 crore.”
Preet Sandhu, co-founder of Azure, said, “The aim of the company is not just to add to the clean energy in the power sector but also generate employment opportunities for the locals.”
Badal said the government was contemplating installation of solar panels on the rooftops of residential complexes. He said the policy would not only reduce the power expenditure of consumers but also become a source of income since farmers would be able to sell their surplus power to the grid.
On the demand of Chandigarh recently raised by the BJP, Sukhbir said, “Our stand is very clear.
Akali Dal will keep fighting for Chandigarh till our demand is met.” He also rued the wheat MSP announced by the centre. “Farmers work too hard and they must get a substantial price for their produce,” he said.
Asked if BJP wanted to cash in on the Sikh issue by announcing compensation, he said BJP was welcome to raise the issues.