July 14, 2020 Read More →

Indian Railways moving toward a solar-powered future

Clean Technica:

Indian Railways has taken some significant measures over the last few weeks that will cement its place as one of the single largest clean energy users in India. These steps include the issuance of tenders for large-scale solar power projects and the commissioning of a first-of-its-kind project to use solar power for trains’ traction systems.

These measures are part of Indian Railways’ long-term sustainability goals. According to a 2017 study, Indian Railways has a potential to set up 5 gigawatts of solar power capacity, which will be sufficient to meet all its power demand in the coming years.

India’s minister for railways recently announced that Indian Railways has commissioned a 1.7-megawatt solar power project. Power generated from this project will be supplied to trains’ traction system. This project is the first of its kind in the world, Indian Railways has claimed. The project is located in Madhya Pradesh and was commissioned by a public sector company, BHEL. According to Indian Railways, the project is expected to generate 2.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity every year, resulting in annual savings of around $180,000.

The 1.7-megawatt project has been implemented on an experimental basis and will form the foundation for gigawatt-scale solar-powered train operations. Railways Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL) has been assigned the responsibility to set up 3 gigawatts of solar power projects across the country to ensure solar power supply to Indian Railways’ vast network. These large-scale solar power projects will be commissioned over the unused land that Indian Railways owns across the country.

Last year, REMCL issued two tenders to procure 140 megawatts and 109 megawatts of solar and wind power. These projects will be spread across multiple states. The Railways has put more emphasis on wind power capacity in these tenders, possibly to ensure the round-the-clock supply power necessary to operate trains.

In June, REMCL issued a 400-megawatt solar power tender. This capacity will be distributed across six states. Three of these six states do not have any significant solar power capacity operational. Project developers are mandated to use Indian-made solar cells and modules for these projects. Earlier this month, another tender was issued by REMCL with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts. Again, developers will be required to use only Indian-made solar cells and modules. Developers will supply power at a fixed rate for 25 years.

[Smiti]

More: Indian Railways accelerates toward a solar future with new tenders

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