Sembcorp (Green Infra Wind Energy ) has won Railway Energy Management Company Limited’s (REMCL) auction to procure 50 MW of wind power. The tariff-based bidding was held for the power consumption of Railways for traction in Maharashtra.
Sembcorp won the entire capacity of 50 MW quoting a tariff of ₹3.11 (~$0.041)/kWh. Adani Renewable Energy had quoted a tariff of ₹3.36 (~$0.044)/kWh, while Tunga Renewable Energy quoted a tariff of ₹3.38 (~$0.045)/kWh.
Two other companies who participated in the auction were Azure Power India and TEQ Green Power IX.
According to a recent report published by Climate Trends and Riding Sunbeams, one in four trains of the Indian Railways could be powered by solar power.
Indian Railways is one of India’s largest power consumers and third-largest diesel users, consuming 17,862 TWh of power and 2,749 billion liters of diesel in 2018-19, accounting for 4% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2018, the government approved plans to electrify 100% of the railway network by 2023. As of March 2021, around 71% of the country’s railways are electrified. Over 6,000 kilometers of railway tracks were electrified in 2020-21. The complete electrification of Indian Railways could save ₹130 billion (~1.8 billion) in fuel bills annually.
Earlier this year, Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal said that the entire Indian rail network would be fully electrified by 2023 and run on renewable energy by 2030.
In March, REMCL had invited bids to set up 14 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar projects at the Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli, for Indian Railways.
Last October, the Ministry of Railways issued two tenders for setting up a 1,160 kW grid-connected solar project for Konkan Railways and rooftop solar installations on seven railway stations in the Bangalore Division of South Western Railway.
Earlier, REMCL had issued a notice inviting tender to enroll agencies or consultants to set up solar projects. The consultants will conduct surveys and prepare feasibility and detailed project reports for solar projects in various Indian states.
According to Mercom’s India Solar Tender Tracker, REMCL has so far tendered nearly 4.1 GW of solar capacity.
Arjun Joshi is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, he worked as a technical writer for enterprise resource software companies based in India and abroad. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Psychology, and Optional English from Garden City University, Bangalore. More articles from Arjun Joshi.