In an initaitive to lower its operating ratio which is currently at its highest level the Indian Railways plans to use its vacant land to set up solar power plants of 30 gigawatt (GW) capacity.
Indian Railways plans to install plants to generate 10 GW under the first phase of the initiative. This will also help the railways by capping its energy bill of around Rs 30,000 crore each year.
“It has been decided that there is a potential to set up 30 GW solar power plants in which railways will be having solar panels along the tracks and unutilized land. In the first phase railways will go for only 10 GW and the formalities for the same are being worked out
“We had earlier planned 1 GW of power mostly for non-traction purposes, 500 MW for land based and 500 MW on rooftop (work for) which is already going on across all stations. The 500 MW land-based solar plant was to be set up on the Madhya Pradesh government’s land. Now we are planning to go beyond that and do it on railways’ land. We have 51,000 hectares of vacant land and we have to identify which patch will be suitable for this,” the official added.
Non-traction power involves the use of electricity for powering the stations while traction refers to the overhead cables used for powering locomotives.
“So far only 10 states and Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) have granted us No Objection Certificates (NOCs).
Source: Hindustan Times