PSPCL fails to power state’s first NMS solar plant : The Tribune India

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PSPCL fails to power state’s first NMS solar plant

JALANDHAR: Contrary to the claims made by the Punjab Government of the state becoming the “most preferred destination” in the non-conventional energy sector with over Rs 4,000 crore of investment received to set up solar plants in the state, Punjab’s first solar energy plant installed at Lohara village in Jalandhar under the net metering scheme (NMS) of the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) is still waiting to get commissioned by Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) since March this year.



Rachna Khaira

Tribune news Service

Jalandhar, July 27

Contrary to the claims made by the Punjab Government of the state becoming the “most preferred destination” in the non-conventional energy sector with over Rs 4,000 crore of investment received to set up solar plants in the state, Punjab’s first solar energy plant installed at Lohara village in Jalandhar under the net metering scheme (NMS) of the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) is still waiting to get commissioned by Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) since March this year.

After much hue and cry by Jassa Singh, owner of a cold storage, the PSPCL has provided a temporary connection to the 74-MW solar plant installed at the cold storage facility on July 20. However, it is yet to install bi-directional electric meter at the plant that would allow the automatic inflow and outflow of electricity from the plant to the PSPCL transmission lines and vice versa.

Jassa Singh has threatened to file a legal case against the Punjab Government for suffering losses to the tune of Rs 50 lakh in the past three months due to the delay in the commissioning of his solar power plant.

“I have taken a loan of Rs 1.15 crore by pledging my land to install a solar power plant at my cold storage facility. Though I was the only one to have completed the installation in the state by March this year, the plant was made operational only four days ago,” Jassa said.

He slammed the PSPCL for charging Rs 10 lakh against electricity bills in the past three months that could have been saved if the plant was made operational in March itself. Also, he said, he is not been able to get his subsidy worth approximately Rs 24,000 released from PEDA till date due to delay in the commissioning of the plant.

“I have pledged my land to get the solar plant installed at my place. I am also paying heavy interest against the same. The government should refund my electricity consumption charges of the past three months and should also release my subsidy amount along with the interest,” said Jassa.

He also threatened to approach court if the state government fails to do the same with immediate effect.

KL Sharma, Director–Distribution, PSPCL, said the department was in the process of procuring bi-directional meters for solar power plants to be commissioned under the NMS in the state.

“The plants need meters that could switch power automatically both from conventional and solar means. At present, only two plants have completed installation in the state under the NMS and soon we would be procuring meters to make them operational,” Sharma said.

He said beneficiaries could buy meters of their own to get them installed by the PSPCL.

However, Vijay Talwar, state vice-president of Laghu Udyog Bharati and member of the Punjab State Regulatory Commission (PSRC), said there seems to be an intentional delay by the PSPCl as it had already installed bi-directional meters to around 250 commercial consumers in the state.

“The PSPCL has purchased surplus power during the paddy season and hence, does not require additional power from solar energy. Also, it does not want to lose business during the peak business season from April to September,” Talwar said.

He said around 1,348 solar energy plants in the state were near completion and beneficiaries would not be able to get the subsidy from the government until their plant would get commissioned by the PSPCL.

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