Punjab State government in India has granted solar energy projects totaling 250MW to 26 private firms, representing capital investment of INR25bn - INR30bn ($419m - $ 502.8m).

Lanco Solar Energy, Punj Lloyd Infrastructure, Moser Baer Clean Energy, Essel Infra Projects, Asopus Infrastructure (India Bulls), Welspun Solar Punjab and Azure Urja are among the companies that secured the projects.

A total of 18 companies were awarded power projects to the tune of 50MW, while 11 big companies have been awarded projects for 200MW solar power in 5-30MW categories.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal told PTI that the government has set a target of achieving 1,000MW power from renewable resources of energy such as solar, biomass, mini-hydel and solar roof tops in the next four years.

In addition, the state is planning to set up a mega Solar Park to encourage clean and green energy in a grand manner.

Power & non-Conventional Energy Secretary Anirudh Tiwari was quoted by the news agency as saying that the state government has sought technical assistance from IIT Ropar and other technical institutes to develop a viable technology to produce ethanol using paddy straw.

Besides solar projects, the state is intending to grant 300MW biomass power plants.