On Sunday, the Punjab Country government, an Indian state bordering Pakistan, said it has received bids from as many as 18 solar companies for setting up 500MW solar power projects.
The State received bids from solar companies with a cumulative capacity of 1,650MW against the offered capacity of 500MW, the Statesman reported.
Punjab New and Renewable Energy Minister Bikram Singh Majithi said the “overwhelming” response from international solar companies had once again confirmed that the State’s renewable energy policy is the best in the country.
Solar companies from far afield
Solar companies such as Sun Edison, First Solar and SkyPower from US, Solar Pack Corporation Spain, Emami Power, Sun Pharma, Acme, Hero Group, Welspun, and Azure Power participated in the bidding process, the government stated.
Majithi stated that the allocation process will be completed by the end of September.
He further explained that: “It is to the credit of Punjab that it had succeeded in its ‘Go Solar’ mission despite constraints of land.
“We do not have any wastelands or deserts, yet Punjab is the most preferred state [in India] for investors as compared to other states which are five to seven times larger in area.”
25 year PPA attracts solar companies
Majithi explained: “We have backed up our solar mission with a 25 year power purchase agreement with our electricity utility – the PSPCL.
“The fact that PSPCL has got a good credit rating of A+ has also boosted investor confidence.
He added: “Moreover, hassle free land acquisition and land lease policies, pro-business policies, incentives, infrastructure, power provision, and ease of doing business make Punjab an attractive investment destination for companies.”
Target to reach 1,500MW by 2016
Majithia said Punjab has been enhancing its renewable energy share, especially solar energy, at a very fast pace.
“In the current five year plan, the capacity addition in solar has increased from 9MW to more than 500MW. The target has been set to generate solar power capacity up to 1,500MW by December 2016”, Majithia concluded.