Punjab nods 700MW Cholistan project

STAFF REPORT LHR: The government of Punjab has approved plans a 700MW solar project in the Cholistan Desert that would contribute significantly towards minimizing the power shortfall in the country.

According to reports, the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park will be spread over 10,000 acres and built in sections, with eight 50MW segments each covering 250 acres.

The plans were given the seal of approval at the fourth meeting of the Punjab Energy Council, which was set up last month to oversee the development of energy projects in the region. It is hoped renewable energy could solve the provinces crippling energy shortages.

An official close to this development, the council also gave the go-ahead to set up a state-owned energy company – the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Company – to develop the project.

Speaking at the meeting, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif reportedly said that the work on the project would start straight away so energy production could begin at the start of next year.

Punjab has a shortfall of 3,500MW at the moment, according to a recent estimate from the provincial governments Energy Department, a gap while demand is rising 8 per cent a year.

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