Visakhapatnam: In a move to contribute to the ambitious target to achieve the ‘Net-Zero Carbon Emission Railway’ by 2030, Indian Railways is gearing up to install solar plants of 20 GW capacities, utilising its vacant land.
In connection with this, East Coast Railway (ECoR) proposes to set up 574.95 MWp solar power plants in its jurisdiction
From its current annual requirement of about 21 billion units, the Indian Railways energy consumption is set to become over 33 billion units by 2030 and achieve 100 per cent electrification for the railways by 2023. It is also committed to utilise renewable energy to meet its traction power requirement and become a complete green mode of transportation.
In addition to supplying power to the Indian Railways, the solar power plants will also aid in safeguarding the vacant railway land from getting encroached by constructing a boundary wall along the track. Apparently, it also prevents trespassing on the tracks. As part of solar projects, Waltair Division of East Coast Railway has already adopted a green energy module with rooftop and ground-mount solar panels. Apart from making all its stations and colonies illuminated with 100 per cent LED lights, various energy saving measures have also been initiated across its jurisdiction.
1MWp (Mega Watt peak) rooftop solar power plants commissioned on four service buildings at Diesel Loco Shed, Electric Loco Shed, DRM office and Divisional Railway Hospital in 2018 in the first phase. Later, 24.38 KWp (Kilo Watt peak) solar plant at Araku railway station was commissioned in March. Besides, 350 KWp solar power plant work is in progress at Visakhapatnam railway station is nearing completion. Further, 574.95 MWp solar power plants work at Rayagada, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam Road, Simhachalam, Koraput and at some other locations of multi-disciplinary training centre, new coaching complex, area manager building, wagon store depot etc are being proposed.
This apart, land based solar power plants at few locations are coming up and the groundwork for the project is in progress. About 71 acres of vacant land at Vadlapudi railway colony is under survey by Gurgoan-based power plant industry. 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.