The Indian Railways have commissioned solar projects aggregating 5 MW. These projects have been set up on the roof tops of Hazrat Nizamuddin, New Delhi, Anand Vihar and Delhi railway stations. Vivaan Solar developed the entire 5 MW capacity for the Indian Railways. The project was complete in 10 months.
The capacity includes 1.1 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar project in New Delhi railway station, 2.2 MW at Old Delhi railway station, 0.6 MW at Hazrat Nizamuddin and 1.1 MW at Anand Vihar Terminus.
The Minister for Railways & Coal, Piyush Goyal, inaugurated the project and dedicated it to the nation. This is the largest grid-connected rooftop solar project of the Indian Railways, so far.
This project was awarded under a public private partnership (PPP) model in December 2016 at a tariff of ₹4.14 (~$0.064)/kWh, which was the lowest tariff for Indian Railways at that time. The project is expected to save ₹42.14 million (~$0.64 million) in energy savings and meet close to 30 percent of the energy requirements of the railway stations. The entire cost of the project (₹374.5 million (~$5.77 million)) has been bought in by the developer under Public Private Partnership model.
Indian Railways operates over 8,000 railway stations across India and is one of the largest consumers of electricity nationally. The infrastructure and space available to Indian Railways has created an option wherein rooftop solar projects can be utilized to address its energy needs.
Because of the affordability of renewable energy, the Indian Railways plans to set up about 1,000 MW of solar and 200 MW of wind power projects by 2020-21. In 2017 the Indian Railways has awarded contracts to developers to install 145 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar projects.
In March 2017, Azure Power, a solar project developer, won bids to develop 46 MW of rooftop solar for the Indian Railways.
In April 2017, the Indian Railways Organization for Alternate Fuel (IROAF), an Indian Railways entity, and Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) entered into an agreement to develop a 2 MW solar rooftop project in the city of Patiala in southeastern Punjab.
In August 2017, Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL) successfully auctioned 67.38 MW of rooftop solar projects for the Indian Railways.
In October 2017, the Indian Railways awarded a total of 30 MW of rooftop solar contracts to two firms. Azure Power will develop 20 MW and Fourth Partner Energy will develop 10 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar projects.
Image credit: flickr
Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.