Indian Railways is focusing on environment-friendly measures like the use of renewable energy which includes wind and solar energy. IR has installed about 114 MW of solar rooftop plants in over 1,000 stations and 400 service buildings. IR plans to be a Zero Net Carbon Emitter by 2030.
vIR plans to set up solar plants on unused vacant Railway land for meeting its traction power requirement. Railway plans to install 20 GW land-based solar plants.
vTo further proliferate these pilot projects, IR has initially planned to set up 3 GWp of land based solar plants in 3 phases.
vFurther, IR also plans to take up a storage-based solar project. This pilot project is taken up to manage peak demand management and solar peak generation management.
vA pilot project to procure renewable power in the round the clock mode to the tune of 150 MW is also being planned.
Southern Railway fast tracks renewable energy projects
Southern Railway is committed to fast-tracking its renewable energy projects with a vision to cut down power costs. By way of increasing its capacity of Solar power plants and establishment of Windmills, Southern Railway has achieved savings from renewable energy sources to the tune of Rs. 13.25 crores on Traction and Rs 1.77 crores on Non-Traction Energy bills during the year 2020-21.
The total capacity of Solar power plants installed by Southern Railway is 4.85 MWp. 3.985 MWp solar plant was installed under PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) mode and 0.865 MW was installed departmentally. Solar power panels have been installed at various locations/railway stations such as Dr. MGR Chennai Central, MMC complex, Katpadi, Tambaram, Mambalam, Guindy and Chengalpattu suburban stations, Divisional Railway Managers’ Offices at Tiruchchirappalli and Madurai, Chief Workshop Manager’s Office at Trichy Golden Rock Workshop, at Level Crossing Gates in Nagercoil-Thiruvananthapuram section, Signal & Telecom Workshop at Podanur, Salem Jn, Namakkal, Tiruppur, to mention a few.
The zone has ambitious plans to increase solar power generation in the coming years. Solar plants on vacant unused railway land will be installed with a capacity of around 67 MWp and capacity of 40 MWp will be installed along the track over Southern Railway through PPA mode. For this purpose, Southern Railway has identified 268 acres of vacant land and 169 acres of land alongside the track.
With focus on harnessing renewable energy through Windmills, Windmill Plants have been erected at Kayathar (near Gangai Kondan / Kadambur Railway stations) in Tuticorin district under Madurai division of Southern Railway. The total capacity of Wind Mill plants in Southern Railway is 10.5 MW erected at a cost of Rs.72 crores.