The Punjab government is targeting solar power generation of 1,000 MW by 2017 with a major investment in this sector coming from Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), a minister said on Tuesday.
“Renewable energy is fast emerging as ‘sun-rising’ sector for NRIs due to investor friendly unique policies of Punjab with more than Rs.1,500 crore worth of investment in solar energy fructifying in the last three years with total generation capacity of 225 MW.
“By 2017, 1,000 MW of solar energy would be generated in Punjab, which would be the maximum in the country,” minister for new and renewable energy Bikram Singh Majithia said.
The minister inaugurated a 1 MW solar energy project set up by Britain-based NRIs Avtar Singh Kang and Raovarinder Singh Kang in their ancestral village Lallian Kalan in Jalandhar district with an investment of Rs.7.25 crore.
Majithia said it took time and persuasion to convince NRIs about investing in the solar energy sector in Punjab.
“Several NRIs are investing in different projects in Punjab. In last one year alone, NRIs have invested Rs.228 crore in different renewable energy projects. This includes Sanjay Rai from Slovakia who invested Rs.29 crore for a 4.2 MW project, Jaspal Deol from the US who invested Rs.16 crore for a 2 MW project, Inderpreet Singh and others from the US who invested Rs.176 crore in a 34 MW project, besides several others,” he said.
Another NRI, Ranbir Singh Chhina from the US, will be investing Rs.16 crore for a 2 MW project in Chhina Bidhi Chand village in Tarn Taran district, he said.
On the occasion, NRI Avtar Singh Kang said the Punjab government facilitated easy clearance of the solar energy project.
He urged other NRIs to invest in Punjab, especially in the solar energy sector.
Majithia said the country’s largest rooftop plant of 7.5 MW at Radha Soami Satsang at Beas (near Amritsar) would be expanded to 31.5 MW which would make it the world’s largest rooftop plant.