NEW DELHI: Indian Railways in order to achieve its target of being 100% self-sustainable for all its power needs, has solarized more than 960 stations till date. Orders for 198 MW of solar rooftop capacity for 550 stations which are under execution has been placed. This will contribute to national solar power needs. Some of the solarized stations are Varanasi, New Delhi, Old Delhi, Jaipur, Secunderabad, Kolkata, Guwahati, Hyderabad, and Howrah.
The Indian Railways’ plans were part of its objective to become a net-zero carbon emitter by 2030, as it has a vacant land of more than 51,000 hectares. By 2030, the Railways plans to produce 33 billion units, 10 billion more than its current requirement. It also plans to build 20 GW of solar power plants using vacant land by 2030.
A Railway Ministry spokesperson said Indian Railways was expected to achieve 100% electrification by 2023 and committed to using solar energy to fulfil its traction power requirement and becoming a completely green mode of transport. The official added that this was in line with the recent directive of Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India on the solarization of railway stations and the use of vacant railway land for renewable energy (RE) projects. Tenders for three solar projects on vacant railways land parcels had been invited by the national transporter and for land parcels along railway tracks bids have already been invited by the Railway Energy Company Limited (REMCL), a public sector undertaking of Indian Railways.