The developers expressed support to the national transporter on the path of going green and achieving the target of net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2030.
Indian Railways wants to become a green mode of transportation! In a bid to achieve the objective of becoming 100 per cent self-sustainable for all its power requirements as well as to contribute to the country’s solar power goals, Indian Railways, under Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, has organized wide-ranging discussions with many key stake holders. Companies like Adani, ACME, NTPC, Renew Power, Hero Future Energies, Greenko Group, Azure Power, Tata Power, Avaada, SPRNG Energy, Vikram Solar participated in the meeting. According to the Railway Ministry, the developers expressed support to the national transporter on the path of going green and achieving the target of net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2030.
Some of the key areas of discussion in the meeting included innovative solutions for establishing solar projects along the rail track, possible power procurement routes for achieving the target of 20 GW renewable energy and challenges of Indian Railways in large scale deployment of solar energy projects. This is in line with the Modi government’s plan to solarise stations as well as utilize vacant railway land for renewable energy projects. Also, the move will contribute to the National Solar Mission.
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The Railway Ministry has decided to provide solar power plants on vacant unused land of Indian Railways on mega-scale. Last month, a pilot project has been successfully operationalized in Bina, which is of 1.7 MW capacity with direct connectivity to 25 KV traction system. Also, for non-traction applications, 3 MW solar plant has been commissioned at Modern Coach Factory. Further, one project at Diwana of 2 MW for connectivity with State Transmission Utility (STU) and another project at Bhilai of 50 MW capacity for Central Transmission Utility (CTU) are in progress.
According to the ministry, a mega plan has been developed by the national transporter for installing solar plants of capacity 20 GW, by using its vacant land by the year 2030. With the Railway Ministry’s aim of achieving 100 per cent electrification by 2023, the energy consumption of Indian Railways is set to become over 33 billion units by the year 2030 from its present annual requirement of around 21 billion units.
In this regard, Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL) has invited bids for 3 GW solar projects on vacant land parcels of Indian Railways and land parcels along the rail track. Other than supplying power to Indian Railways at reduced tariff, these solar projects will also protect the land of the national transporter by the construction of boundary wall along the rail track.