Indian Railways to Become Net-Zero Carbon Emitter by 2030

The South Western Railway (SWR) is making strides to go green. In a new development, the railway zone installed solar panels of 3,505 kilowatt-peak (kW) capacity across its multiple buildings, offices and workshops.

According to the information furnished by SWR, its Hubballi workshop tops the chart with the highest capacity of 1,045 kW, followed by Mysuru Workshop (500 kW) and DRM Hubballi Office (320 kW).

SWR installed 235 kW of the 3,505 kW rooftop solar projects departmentally. The departmental buildings that have the rooftop solar are Rail Soudha (100 kW), Hubballi workshop (45 kW), DRM office, Bengaluru (20 kW), Chikjajur Raiwlay Station (20 kW), Chikmagalur Railway Station (20 kW), MEMU Shed, Banaswadi (10 kW), Chitradurga Railway Station (10 kW), Birur Railway station (10 kW).

In the past, the zone had entered four Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with various solar power developers for 4.5 MW rooftop solar capacity. Of that, a total of 3270 kW capacity has been commissioned. The commissioned projects include Rail Soudha Hubballi (250 kW), Krishnarajapuram Diesel Shed (240 kW), Hubballi station (220 kW), Mysuru DRM office (110 kW), Mysuru station (100 kW), Railway Hospital, Bengaluru (100 kW), Central Railway Hospital, Hubballi (100 kW), Hosapete station (100 kW), Bengaluru DRM office (80 kW), Yeshwantpur station (80 kW), Chikjajur (20 kW), Chikmagalur station (20 kW), Birur (10 kW), MEMU shed Banaswadi (10 kW) and Chitradurga station (10 kW).

SW Railways also has rooftop grid connected SPV systems of 860 kW capacity. Theses projects are installed at EMD diesel shed (640 kW), Gadag Railway Station (120 kW) and Hosapete Railway Station (100 kW). Work is in progress for 320 kW capacity at Ballari Railway Station (180 kW), Mysuru Railway Hospital (80 kW) and Hubballi Railway Station (60 kW). With the completion of this project, the cumulative solar capacity of SWR will increases to 4,685 kW.

“At 4,685 kW, the panels will generate approximately 7.1 million units of clean and green energy on average per annum, meeting nearly 15 percent of annual non-traction energy requirement, saving revenue to the tune of ₹18.3 million ($0.25 million) per annum to railways,” E Vijaya, SWR chief PRO told Mercom.

Indian Railways has been putting in a lot of effort to go green. Recently, it was announced that solar panels will be installed on trains to meet their electricity requirements. In June 2018, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal had said, “Indian Railways is going green in a big way and plans to become a net-zero carbon emitter by 2030.”

In October 2017, the Indian Railways awarded a total of 30 MW of rooftop solar contracts to Azure Power (20 MW) and Fourth Partner Energy (10 MW). In August 2017, Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL) successfully auctioned 67.38 MW of rooftop solar projects for the Indian Railways. In April 2017, the Indian Railways Organization for Alternate Fuel, an Indian Railways entity, and Bharat Heavy Electricals entered into an agreement to develop a 2 MW solar rooftop project in the city of Patiala in southeastern Punjab. In March 2017, Azure Power won bids to develop 46 MW of rooftop solar for the Indian Railways. In September 2017, ABB India announced it would be providing solar inverters to support rooftop solar system installations in 750 railway stations in the northern part of India, in partnership with Azure Power.

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