An agreement was signed by Indian Railways’ Danapur division and a private company. The deal is likely to see the installation of solar energy systems at all office buildings and railways stations by the end of August.
According to the deal, the railways will be introducing the solar power system in the division at zero investment. Railways will have to pay Rs 3 per unit only to the hired company. This contract has been awarded to the company for a period of 25 years. The railways will generate about 1554.575 kilowatts of solar power energy at these places in the division.
Earlier this year, Indian Railways announced its national-level plan to replace 4,000 MW of coal-fired electricity to run its trains with solar energy from modules deployed on both sides of select electrified tracks in 10 states. The Railway Board wants local manufacturing for 1,200 MW of equipment under the ‘Make In India’ initiatives, prepared by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), an entity under the renewable energy ministry.
Railways is estimated to save 20% of the annual energy bill in the first year and 40% thereafter. Besides, the project will save Railways land from encroachment. In the first phase itself, the project will produce 6.6 billion units of power. This compares well against 16 BU (billion units) used for traction every year out of total consumption of 18.5 billion units worth Rs 10,036 crore.