Punjab heads for solar power revolution as CM LED government inks PPA for 1200 MW for green power
In order to promote clean energy and to meet the future power supply demand of Punjab, the Punjab government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) of 1200 MW with Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam a subsidiary of Bhakra Beas Management Board and leading firm of Renewable energy.
Divulging the details, the Chief Minister, while interacting with media persons here at Punjab Bhawan, said that PSPCL had floated tenders for procurement of power from solar projects located in Punjab and anywhere else across the country. He said that SJVN (Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam) Green Energy Limited proposed Rs 2.53 per unit from 1000 MW in Bikaner (Rajasthan) and Bhuj (Gujarat) and Rs 2.75 per unit from 200 MW at Hoshiarpur (Punjab). Bhagwant Singh Mann said that for the first time, the Swiss Challenge Method (SCM) was implemented to invite counter bidding.
The Chief Minister said that the earlier bidding was of 2.59 per unit but was negotiated and brought at 2.53 thereby saving money. Likewise he said that for 200 MW bid was made at Rs 2.79 but was finally agreed to Rs 2.75 per unit. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the state government will save Rs 431 crore through this negotiation adding that to avoid transmission cost these projects will be started soon.
The Chief Minister said that the earlier governments had mercilessly plundered public money by signing these agreements to benefit the private players. He said that from 2007-2017 none of the project was below Rs 7 whereas this PPA has been signed at a nominal cost. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that this will save a lot of public money and will be immensely beneficial for the state.
The Chief Minister said that Punjab will soon become the first state to implement policy for banking the power. He said that this will be a revolutionary step aimed at further making the state power surplus in the country. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that this will herald a revolution in providing cheap, regular and uninterrupted power to the masses.
The Chief Minister said that PPA rates have been fixed for 25 years without any further rise in cost. He further said that no transmission charges and no transmission losses will not be paid by PSPCL. Bhagwant Singh Mann Solar power projects will be made functional within 18 months.
The Chief Minister said that Estimated daily production of green power is 83 lakh units. He further said that it will further help in supplying power to agricultural tubewells during the day as solar energy will be available in the day. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that further Aiming to further promote clean energy and to provide maximum power to agricultural tubewells during the day, PSPCL has floated more new tenders to procure 2500 MW solar power from projects located in Punjab and other parts of the country.
The Chief Minister said that the agreements inked with the companies have been made public unlike past when these were veiled in secrecy. He said that today is the age of green power and so we have made this agreement. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that this is the biggest solar power purchase agreement made in the country.
The Chief Minister further said that the state government is heading towards purchasing the Goindwal power plant. He said that efforts are being made to revise the agreement clauses with the other private thermal plants in the state. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that these efforts are aimed solely at ensuring that power is provided to people immediately.
The Chief Minister categorically said that free power to the farmers will continue in the coming days too. He said that there is no proposal to levy any rate on free power to the food growers. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the state has surplus power for the farmers adding that there is no dearth of funds for giving subsidy to the farmers.
The Chief Minister said that the state government is making strenuous efforts for ensuring optimum utilisation of canal water in the state. He said that it will help in saving the groundwater in the state and ensuring use of canal water. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the state government will soon merge three departments concerned with water viz. irrigation, water resources and others into one for this motive.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by Special Principal Secretaries to CM Ravi Bhagat and Kumar Amit along with others.