The Indian railways, which is working on an ambitious plan to reduce its dependence on conventional fuels and cut down energy bill, is planning to award 400 Megawatt (Mw) of solar energy generation capacity in the current financial year.
The transporter plans to award 200 MW of rooftop solar and 200 MW of land-based solar energy capacity in the current fiscal. Overall, railways has a target of installing 1,000 Mw of solar power and 200 Mw of wind energy by 2020.
“In terms of solar rooftop installations, we have a target of installing 500 Mw till 2020. So far, we have commissioned 17 Mw rooftop solar with the latest being 750 Kw at Guwahati, Assan. Our target is to award 200 Mw of rooftop this financial year out of which 100 Mw will be through the PPP route,” Railway Board Member (traction), Ghanshyam Singh told ETEnergyworld.
The national carrier is working with Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for setting up 150 Mw solar energy capacity in Assam, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. “The 150 Mw will be set up on solar parks. In addition to this, the Railway Energy Management Company Ltd (REMCL) is also finalizing setting up 50 Mw solar capacity on railway land by next year as well as 62 MW of solar rooftop, the tender for that will be issued in a week’s time,” he said.
REMCL will also be setting up another 50 MW following confirmation of the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). In addition, Indian Railways is also working with Central Electronics Limited (CEL) for installing 100 MW of solar energy capacity. “We aim to cover 770 stations under this. MNRE is yet to provide the Viability Gap Funding (VGF),” a railway ministry official said.
The national carrier, under its ‘net zero energy’ plan is also planning to set up solar plants in a bid to run nearly 8000 stations on solar energy, as reported by ETEnergyworld. “We will be setting up solar plants in 800 stations. We have also begun sanctioning study for covering another 4,000 stations under the same category,” Singh said.
The national carrier is also planning to procure 300 Mw of solar energy from the Rewa Ultra Mega Solar (RUMS) park in Madhya Pradesh. “From Rewa, 50 MW solar energy capacity is in the final stages and another 250 MW is under negotiation. We are set to meet our required target by 2020,” Singh added.
He also added that the national transporter is working towards meeting its wind energy requirements too. With 37 MW of wind energy capacity commissioned so far, Indian Railways will be floating a tender for another 35 MW apart from 10.5 MW of wind capacity installation in the pipeline.