Indian Railways is committed to utilize solar energy for meeting the requirements of its traction power as well as become a complete ‘Green mode of transportation’.
Indian Railways is all set to transform itself as ‘Net Zero’ Carbon Emission Mass Transportation Network by 2030 in a mission mode! As directed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the national transporter plans to solarise railway stations by utilizing its vacant lands for renewable energy projects. According to the Railway Ministry, Indian Railways is committed to utilize solar energy for meeting the requirements of its traction power as well as become a complete ‘Green mode of transportation’. In a press release, the Railway Ministry has stated, it has decided to install solar power plants on its vacant lands that are unused on mega scale.
The use of solar power in the Indian Railways network will accelerate Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s mission to achieve the conversion of the national transporter to ‘Net Zero’ Carbon Emission Mass Transportation Network. The present demand for Indian Railways would be fulfilled by the solar power projects that are being deployed, making it the first transport organization to be energy self-sufficient. The move would help in making the national transporter green as well as ‘Atma Nirbhar’.
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According to the Railway Ministry, Indian Railways has acted as a pioneer in the procurement of green energy. The procurement of energy has been started by Indian Railways from various solar power projects such as 3 MWp solar plant set up at MCF Raebareilly. Also, around 100 MWp rooftop solar systems have been commissioned already on various Indian Railways stations and buildings.
Besides, in a first of its kind project in the world, Indian Railways in collaboration with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) is commissioning a project of 1.7 MWp at Bina. This plant will be linked directly to the Overhead Traction System. The system involves innovative technology for converting DC to single phase AC, for feeding directly to the overhead traction system. This solar power plant can produce around 25 lakh units of energy yearly and will save around Rs 1.37 crore for the national transporter every year.
Also, two other such pilot projects are under implementation. One of them is a 50 MWp solar power plant at Bhilai, located in the state of Chhattisgarh, which shall be connected with Central Transmission Utility. This plant is targeted to be commissioned before 31 March 2021. The other one is a 2 MWp solar plant at Diwana, in the state of Haryana, which shall be connected to State Transmission utility. It is expected to be commissioned before 31 August 2020.