Indian Railways to offer vacant land to install 500-MW solar power plants to meet its energy needs

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The Indian Railways (IR) will offer its vacant land to install 500-megawatt solar power plants to meet its energy needs, Chairman Railway Board (CRB) Mr. Vinod Kumar Yadav said recently.

This is in addition to the railways’ aim of installing 500-MW solar power plants and about 200-MW wind plants by 2021-22 across its zones and production units (PUs).

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  • The 500-MW solar power plants will be installed atop roofs of railway buildings through the PPP (public-private partnership) mode with 25-year agreements and used to meet the non-traction loads at railway stations.
  • As a pilot project for the land-based power plants, a three-megawatt plant has already been installed at MCF, Raebareli.
  • While in Bhilai, a 50-MW plant on a 300-acre vacant railway land has been awarded by the Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL) and it is under progress with targeted commissioning by March 2021.
  • Mr. Yadav said, “These plants will reduce carbon emissions and carbon footprints. 16 stations have been declared ”Green” railway stations across IR, which are meeting their energy needs completely either through solar or by wind.”
  • Also, work was underway for about 111-MW solar plants and tenders for 93-MW solar plants were recently floated by REMCL, he said.
  • Tenders for 45-MW rooftop solar capacity have also been floated by REMCL and is due for opening on January 27, 2020.
  • The CRB said that the balance 154 MW is under different stages of planning.
  • In addition to the land-based solar projects, IR has also taken up two pilot projects for feeding solar power directly to 25 KV AC traction system — the Diwana Solar Plant Project through REMCL, targeted for completion by March 2020, and the Bina Solar Project through BHEL, targeted for completion by February 2020.
  • He said, tenders for two hybrid plants (solar + wind) of 140 MW (35 MW solar + 105 MW wind) and 109 MW (27 MW solar + 82 MW wind) capacity have also been floated by REMCL.
  • Of the 200-MW target of the railways, a 103.4-MW wind plant has already been installed.
  • A wind Plant of 21 MW (for non-traction) capacity in Tamil Nadu, one of 26 MW (for traction) capacity in Rajasthan and another of 6 MW (for non-traction) and 50.4 MW (for traction) capacity in Maharashtra have been installed.
  • Further, tenders for 187-MW capacity have been floated by REMCL as part of hybrid renewable energy plants.

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