In order to achieve its objective of becoming 100% self sustainable for all it’s power needs and also to contribute to national solar power goals, Indian Railways had recently organized wide ranging discussions with key stake holders under the chairmanship of Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal.
It may be noted that Indian Railways is committed to utilize solar energy for meeting its traction power requirement and become a complete ‘Green mode of transportation’, with objectives as below during a recent meeting held by Minister of Railways.
1. Innovative solutions for setting up solar projects along the railway track.
2. Possible power procurement routes for achieving 20 GW renewable energy target, set by the Indian Railways, to become the net zero carbon emitter by 2030.
3. Challenges in large scale deployment of solar energy projects by the Indian Railways.
The developers acknowledged the efforts of Indian Railways in leading the development of renewable energy in the country and expressed strong support to Indian Railways on the path of going green and achieving net zero carbon emissions target by 2030.
The use of solar power will accelerate the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal’s mission to achieve conversion of Indian Railways to ‘Net Zero Carbon Emission Railway’. In order to achieve this, Indian Railways has developed a mega plan for installing solar plants of 20 GW capacity by utilizing its vacant land by 2030. With the ambitious plan of achieving 100% electrification of Railways by the year 2023, Indian Railways energy consumption is set to become more than 33 billion units by 2030 from its current annual requirement of about 21 billion units.
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 wall along the track will be constructed and maintained by developers which will also help in preventing trespassing on tracks.
On the same lines Waltair Division of East Coast Railway has already adopted Green Energy module with Roof top Solar and Land based Solar Plants. Apart from making all its stations and colonies illuminated with 100% LED light fittings, various energy saving measures will be initiated in its jurisdiction.
1MWp (Mega Watt Peak) Roof Top Solar Power plants commissioned on Four Service buildings at Diesel Loco Shed, Electric Loco Shed, DRM office and Divisional Railway Hospital in the first phase in 2018.
Later 24.38 KWp solar plant at Araku Railway Station commissioned in March, 2020, Whereas 350KWp solar power plant work is under progress at Visakhapatnam railway station which will be completed shortly, this year. Further 574.95 MWp Solar power plants works at Rayagada, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam Road, Simhachalam, Koraput and at some other locations of Multi Disciplinary Training centre/ Marripalem, New Coaching Complex, Area Manager Building, Wagon store depot etc are proposed.
Apart from this Land Based Solar power plants at some locations are also planned for which ground work is under process. 71 acres of vacant land at Vadlapudi railway colony under survey by Gurgoan based power plant industry. Further, more than 90 acres of land at some locations at Amagura, Bhansi, Charumulakusimi, Geedam, Kawargoan in KK line and at Komatapalli in Rayagada-Vizianagaram line are under survey to develop land based solar power projects.
Adoption of modern indigenous technology to create energy self-reliant Indian Railways will contribute towards meeting India’s renewable energy targets and Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), as committed by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi.
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