In order to achieve the objective of Indian Railways to become 100% self sustainable for all it’s power needs and also to contribute to national solar power goals, Western Railway has solarised its 75 stations till date.
The use of solar power will accelerate the Railway’s mission to achieve the goal of becoming “Net Zero Carbon Emission Railway” before 2030.
According to a press release issued by WR CPRO Sumit Thakur, suitable Rooftop Solar Panels have been installed at 75 stations over Western Rly. 8.67 MWp capacity rooftop solar plants have been provided at various railway stations and office buildings.
These plants have been commissioned and connected to grid and as a result, there is a saving of Rs. 3 crore is accrued during the financial year.
Thakur informed that Solar Plants have been installed at 22 stations in Mumbai Division, 34 stations in Ratlam Division, 6 stations of Vadodara Division & 8 stations in Rajkot Division.
Similarly, in Ahmedabad Division, solar plants have been installed at Sabarmati & Ambli Road stations as well as Ahmedabad station building whereas in Bhavnagar Division at Bhavnagar station & Somnath station building.
In Mumbai Division, the rooftop Solar Plants have been installed at Churchgate, Grant Road, Matunga Road, Andheri, Mumbai Central, Lower Parel, Mahim, Khar Road, Santacruz, Ram Mandir, Malad, Kandivali, Borivali, Dahisar, Mira Road, Bhayander, Naigaon, Vasai Road, Nallasopara, Dahanu Road stations, while at Dadar as well as at Bandra Terminus, station buildings & platforms.
In Ratlam Division, rooftop Solar Plants have been installed at Chanderiya, Nimbhera, Gambhiri, Jawad Road, Mangliya Gaon, Ajnod, Lakshmibai Nagar, Ranyal, Jasmiya, Pipliya, Mandsaur, Nauganwan, Runija, Bangrod, Sehore, Kalapipla, Pachwan, Maksi, Vikramnagar station buildings, Indore, Ujjain, Dewas, Chittaurgadh, Meghnagar, Bajrangarh, Fatehabad, Gautampura, Dr. Ambedkar Nagar (Mhow), Nagda, Nimach, Jaora, Badnagar, Shujalpur, Kachrod stations and at Ratlam station building & platforms.
In Vadodara Division, the rooftop Solar Plants have been installed at Vadodara, Od, Makarpura, Varnarna, Sadhanpura station buildings and at Godhra staton building & platforms.
In Rajkot Division, the rooftop Solar Plants have been installed at Rajkot, Okha, Jamnagar, Chamaraj, Lakhamachi, Modpur, Lakhabawal and Pipli stations.
It is worth mentioning that Indian Railways is set to produce solar energy for meeting all it’s energy consumption needs of more than 33 billion units by 2030. Current annual requirement is about 20 billion units. Indian Railways has a mega plan for installing solar plants of 20 GW capacity by 2030 by utilizing its vacant land.
About 51,000 hectares of vacant land is available with Indian Railways and is now ready to extend all support to the developers for installing solar power plants on Railway’s vacant un-encroached land.
It may be noted that Railways is also set to achieve 100% electrification by the year 2023 and is committed to utilize solar energy for meeting its traction power requirement and become a complete ‘Green mode of transportation’.
This is in line with the recent directive of Prime Minister to solarise railway stations and utilize vacant railway land for Renewable Energy (RE) projects.