7,000 Indian railway stations soon to be powered by the sun
Subject to implementation of the plans announced in India’s 2017 Union Budget, pretty much all railway stations in the country will soon be powered by solar.
In the Union Budget speech made on February 01, 2017 by India’s Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, it was announced that the 7,000 railway stations will run on solar power very soon, across India. This is in line with the Indian Railways’ mission to implement solar power capacity to the tune of 1,000 megawatts (MW).
Jaitley said that in 300 railway stations, setting up of rooftop solar power systems has begun already, and the number would shortly grow almost seven-fold to 2,000 stations. The implementation of these systems is expected to happen via developer mode, i.e., the project developer will undertake a long-term power purchase agreement with Indian Railways.
Apart from these rooftop solar power systems, it is anticipated that Indian Railways will establish large-scale projects too. In 2016, plans to launch a tender for 150 MW of rooftop systems were announced. In the latter part of 2016, the Indian Railways also announced a partnership with the UN Development Programme with the objective of setting up five gigawatts of solar power capacity.
As of today, the Indian Railways has identified the solar power resource in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Following is the program’s phase-wise plan in these states:
– Phase one – 25 MW rooftop + 50 MW ground-mounted capacity will be commissioned
– Phase two – 60 MW of rooftop + 660 MW of ground-mounted capacity will be installed in nine other Indian states
– Phase three – 400 MW of rooftop and 3,800 MW of ground-mounted capacity to be installed in the rest of India