Punjab, Lockheed Martin tie up for solar power

Chandigarh, Nov 14 (IANS) To augment solar power generation in the state and overcome the power crisis, the Punjab government Friday announced a tie up with US global security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin.

The state will add 1000 MW solar power in the next three years with Lockheed Martin providing plastic structures for solar panels on canals by using nano-technology.
“The company would also provide state-of-the-art technology to convert paddy straw into energy, solving the lingering problem of paddy straw burning in the state. The Punjab government and Lockheed Martin would ink a MoU in this regard,” a spokesman said here Friday.
Punjab Non-Conventional Energy minister Bikram Singh Majithia and a three-member team from Lockheed Martin comprising CEO Phil Shaw, Chief Innovation Officer Tushar Shah and Regional Director Jagmohan Singh, along with senior Punjab officials, decided this at a meeting here.
Majithia said that to meet 15 percent demand for energy in the state from clean energy, the Punjab government has decided to explore around 5,000 km of canal length for putting up solar panels.
“But due to the heavy cost of the structures, it becomes unviable. If Lockheed Martin could develop cheaper but durable plastic structures, then this area has a huge potential to be harnessed in future,” Majithia said.
He expressed confidence that with the nano-technology solar panel developed by the US company, Punjab would be able to make solar power generation cost effective, attracting international investors to this area.
Majithia admitted that Punjab was facing a serious issue of burning of paddy stubble, causing major damage to the fertility of the land as well as polluting the environment. He said that this could be checked if farmers could get additional income in lieu of their agricultural residue.
CEO Phil Shaw said that the company has come out with waste-to-energy conversion solutions with successful conversion of waste products to electricity, heat and fuel by using gasification processes. He said that it was an environmentally friendly green recycling technology which requires little space and the plants are fully automated.