Indian railways plans to install 71.7 MWatt solar power plants on unused vacant Railway land

Indian Railways (IR) has planned for installation of solar energy projects on unused vacant Railway land. State-wise details where action has been taken for installation of Solar electricity projects on unused vacant Railway land are as follows:

  • Chhattisgarh- 50 Mega Watt (MW) at Bhilai.
  • Uttar Pradesh – 3 MW at Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli.
  • Haryana- 2 MW at Diwana (near Panipat).
  • Madhya Pradesh- 1.7 MW at Bina.
  • Maharashtra- 15 MW Buttibori (Nagpur)
  • Further, IR is planning to install solar energy projects on its unused land in various States including Gujarat based on techno-economic feasibility.
  • This information was given by Union Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw in a written reply in Lok Sabha on 01.12.2021.

Harnessing Solar Power:

  • Indian Railways, being a significant consumer of energy resources, it is important to identify cost-effective energy system options with least environmental impacts. 
  • In the Budget 2020-21, it has been announced that: “Indian Railways has planned to utilize its unused vacant Railway land for setting up of land based solar plants on vacant unused land parcels and on land along railway tracks.

Future planning:

  • It has been decided by the Ministry of Railways under the directions of Hon’ble Prime Minister to provide solar power plants on vacant unused Railway land for meeting its complete power requirement in 2030. 
  • As a part of this, two pilot projects at Diwana (2 MW capacity) and Bina (1.7 MW, world’s first of its kind project feeding solar power directly to Railway’s traction system at 25 kiloVolts) capacity have been successfully commissioned over Northern and West Central Railway. 
  • Besides the above pilot projects, work is in progress for a 50 MW land based solar plant at Bhilai (SECR) and IR has also tied up 400 MW power with RUMS (Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Project).
  • To further proliferate these pilot projects on a larger scale, initially, Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL) has been mandated to initially undertake 1.4 GW solar projects on Railway land in three phases. 
  • Additionally, in order to optimize consumption of conventional and renewable power so as to avoid surplus renewable power during peak hours, procurement of renewable power in RTC (Round the Clock) mode and a storage based solar pilot project, is also planned to manage peak demand management and solar peak generation management.

Source: PIB-Press Release | Image Credit (representational): Pixabay