Railways to harness green power to reduce hefty energy bill
Railways have firmed up plans to harness solar and wind power as part of its move to tap renewable energy in a big way to reduce the fuel bill substantially.
New Delhi: Railways have firmed up plans to harness solar and wind power as part of its move to tap renewable energy in a big way to reduce the fuel bill substantially.
The total fuel bill of railways during the current financial year has been estimated to be a whopping Rs 35,000 crore, of which diesel will be over Rs 24,000 crore as against the electricity bill of around Rs 11,000 crore.
"We have finalised plans to proliferate green energy initiatives by harnessing wind and solar energy on a large scale as it is our endeavour to protect the environment and promote sustainable development," said a senior Railway Ministry official.
With an aim of facilitating faster execution of renewable energy and energy conservation works to generate green power and reduce energy bill, Railway Ministry and RITES have formed a joint venture company - Railway Energy Management Company (REMC) - in the shareholding pattern of 49 per cent and 51 per cent.
Currently, railways is harnessing wind and solar energy from its 10.5 Mega Watt (MW) capacity wind mill plant and solar Photo Voltaic (PV) modules of about 7 MW capacity at about 500 railway stations, about 4000 level crossing gates and solar-based water heating systems at training institutes, retiring rooms.
In order to expand its footprint in the generation of green energy, railways will be installing about 168 MW of wind mill plants, of which 157.5 MW will be in joint venture model, and about 7 MW of solar photo voltaic modules at 200 railway stations, 26 at roof top of buildings and 2000 at level crossing gates.
Out of 157.5 MW wind mill plant to be set up in JV model, REMC has planned to set up 25 MW of windmill in Rajasthan for which the tender is under advance stage of finalisation.
The wind mill project has already been registered with United Nations Frameworks Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and is earning carbon credits of 20000 CERs per annum.
The company is now in the process of executing various Indian Railway projects related to harnessing wind energy, power trading activities, procurement of power through bilateral arrangements, power evacuation planning, energy conservation initiatives, efficient coordination in power generation through captive power plant and energy audits.