The Western Railway (WR) has come out with the claim that it has saved a substantial Rs 3 crore on its power bills by successfully exploiting solar energy at 75 of its stations on the network.
A WR official specified that these rooftop solar plants generate nearly 8.67 MW of clean and green energy, which resulted in the savings during the current fiscal, besides accelerating the Indian Railways‘ mission to achieve the goal of ‘Net Zero Carbon Emission Railway’ before 2030, said WR chief spokesperson Sumit Thakur.
The solar plants have been installed in 22 stations in Mumbai Division, 34 in Ratlam, 8 in Rajkot, and 6 in Vadodara, besides the Ahmedabad and Bhavnagar Divisions. In the Mumbai Division, rooftop power plants have been installed at places like Churchgate, Mumbai Central Terminus, Dadar Terminus, Bandra Terminus, and other stations in Thane and Palghar.
As per an IANS report, Thakur further said that by 2030, the IR is set to produce solar power for all its energy requirement needs of over 33 billion units, with the current annual requirements being around 20 billion units.
For achieving this, the Indian Railways has chalked plans to install solar plants of 20 GW by 2030 on around 51,000 hectares of its vacant, un-encroached lands. Simultaneously, it also hopes to achieve 100 percent electrification on all its lines by 2023 to ensure a complete ‘Green Mode of Transportation’ in tune with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal, Thakur added.
The plan to generate 20 GW of renewable energy was also recently discussed by Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and Railways Piyush Goyal. The minister had said that the Indian Railways is planning to use its surplus land to generate 20 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy from ‘Made in India’ solar or wind equipment to power its network. Further adding that the Indian Railways will be a 100 percent electricity-driven rail network in the coming years which would make it the largest such network in the world.