New Delhi-based NGO Centre for Science and Environment recently released a study which shows that sugar mills and windmills both produce about 2 GW of energy, but sugar mills do it at half the cost. The study indicates, sugar mills are proving to be one of India’s best potential sources of renewable energy.
Based on this, the Punjab government is moving forward with plans to give a new lease of life to nine co-operative state sugar mills. The nine sugar mills include: Ajnala, Batala, Bhogpur, Budhewal, Fazilka, Gurdaspur, Morinda, Nakodar and Nawanshahr. Combined, they have the capacity to generate 150 megawatts of power, in addition to the power and steam they produce to run the sugar mills.
To harness this potential, many private companies have tied up with mill to set up co-generation power plants. The sugar mills will receive a percentage from the sale of electricity by the private companies to a third party. The plants are expected to become operational in September 2010.