Punjab Government is planning to develop 200MW canal top solar PV projects and 100MW floating solar power projects in the state. A high-level meeting chaired by Punjab’s New and Renewable Energy Minister, Mr. Aman Arora was held on Monday, 21st November 2022 to discuss the initiative.
Both types of projects will be developed on Build, Operate, and Own basis by the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA). A viability gap funding (VGF) scheme has been proposed to improve the feasibility of solar plants. The funding will be claimed from the Department of Economic Affairs under the Ministry of Finance.
A VGF is a form of capital or operational grant that is provided to Public-private partnerships (PPPs) for projects that are not considered financially viable.
Canal-top solar projects use unutilized space over canals for erecting solar panels. In Punjab, these plants would get installed over small distributaries, with smaller widths to minimize civil work. After taking 20% VGF into account, the cost of these canal-top solar projects is estimated to be approximately ₨. 5 crores per MW.
Total Cost of Canal Top PV projects= 5 x 200 = 1000 crores (approx.)
The floating solar projects would harness the potential of lakes and reservoirs to install solar panels on the surface of these water bodies. The per MW cost of these projects in Punjab would be around Rs. 4.80 crores.
Total Cost of Floating Solar Projects= 4.8 x 100= Rs. 480 crores (approx.)
These projects will help Punjab save several thousand acres of agricultural land, generate employment opportunities and prevent water evaporation.
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Resource: The Economic Times