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TheNFAPost Podcast

Hyderabad, NFAPost: Achieving 100% self-sustainability is every business model’s success yardstick and Indian Railways is no alien. Indian Railways is tapping sourced to utilize solar energy to a maximum for meeting its traction power requirement and to become a complete ‘Green mode of transportation’.

The Railway network is leading the race in the development of renewable energy in the country and the Ministry of Railways has expressed a strong support in the path of going green and achieving the net zero carbon emissions target by 2030.

While the plan to solarise railway stations and utilize vacant railway land for Renewable Energy (RE) projects is on Indian Railways’ radar, the contribution towards National Solar Mission, an initiative of the Government of India to promote solar power, is icing on the cake. 

According to a statement from the Ministry of Railways, vacant unused Railway land will henceforth be used to house solar power plants on mega scale – with a 20 GW capacity by the year 2030. 

In line with Indian Railways’plan of achieving 100% electrification by the year 2023, the energy consumption is set to become more than 33 billion units by 2030 from its current annual requirement of about 21 billion units.

A pilot project of 1.7 MW capacity with direct connectivity to 25 KV traction system has been successfully operationalised in Bina, Madhya Pradesh. In addition, a solar plant of 3 MW capacity has also been commissioned at Modern Coach Factory (MCF), Raebareli for non-traction applications. 

Further, two more projects – one at Diwana for 2 MW and another at Bhilai for 50 MW capacity for connectivity with State Transmission Utility (STU) and Central Transmission Utility (CTU) respectively are in progress, as per a statement from the Ministry of Railways. 

The Railways have floated bids for 3 GW solar projects on vacant Railway land parcels and land parcels along the railway track have already been invited by Railway Energy Management Company Ltd. (REMCL), a PSU of Indian Railways. 

These solar projects, besides supplying power to Railways at reduced tariff, will also protect the Railway land by construction of boundary wall along the track.

Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal pointed out that Indian Railways is willing to extend all support to the developers for installing solar power plants on Railway’s vacant un-encroached land. Boundary walls along the track will be constructed and maintained by developers which will also help in preventing trespassing on tracks.

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