IEP Chandigarh, November 21:With an aim at further ramping up renewable energy while utilising natural sources optimally, the Chief Minister S Bhagwant Mann led state government has decided to install Solar Power Photovoltaic (PV) projects with a total capacity of 300 MW in Punjab. These projects include 200 MW Canal Top Solar PV Power Projects and 100 MW Floating Solar PV Power Project on the Reservoirs and Lakes.This decision was taken in a high-level meeting chaired by Punjab New and Renewable Energy Sources Minister Mr. Aman Arora in his office at Punjab Civil Secretariat-1 here. Mr. Aman Arora said that the proposed 200 MW Canal Top Solar Project would be installed in a phased manner, under which 50 MW would be installed in the first phase, while projects of remaining capacity would be installed in subsequent phases. These projects will be executed in Build, Operate and Own (BOO) mode by Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA), he added.Discussing the feasibility for setting up of these projects, the Cabinet Minister said that Viability Gap Funding (VGF) has been proposed to be claimed from the Department of Economic Affairs under the Ministry of Finance (GoI), under their scheme.The canal top solar power projects will be installed on small distributaries having less width, which will involve less civil works. The cost of the Canal Top Solar PV Projects is expected to be around Rs 5 crore per MW after taking in consideration of 20 per cent VGF. The 200 MW Canal Top Solar PV Projects will save at least 1000 acres of precious agricultural land, besides, generating local employment and preventing water evaporation from canals.Similarly, Floating Solar PV Projects are also a new emerging idea being implemented in the country for using the potential area on lakes and reservoirs, which will also lead to saving thousands acres of precious agricultural land. The cost of Floating Solar PV Projects would be around Rs 4.80 crore per MW after considering 20 per cent VGF.The prominent among those present in the meeting include Chairman PEDA Mr. H.S. Hanspal, Additional Chief Secretary to Chief Minister-cum-New and Renewable Energy Sources Mr. A. Venu Prasad, Principal Secretary Power Mr. Tejveer Singh, CMD PSPCL Mr. Baldev Singh Sran, Chief Executive PEDA Mr. Sumeet Jarangal and Director PEDA Mr. MP Singh.
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