Indian Railway’s First Solar Power Plant
A 1.7-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant has been commissioned by Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) at Bina, Madhya Pradesh for the Indian Railways.
- Power to the traction systems of Indian Railways will be fed directly through this plant.
- This plant was commissioned after the Indian Railways decided to become self-reliant for their electricity need and planned to solarise railway stations by utilizing the vacant lands it has for various Renewable Energy (RE) projects.
- This is the first such Solar Power Plant commissioned on the Indian Railways network to directly feed Traction Power.
- The Solar Plant commissioned at Bina covers an area of over ten acres. 5800 solar modules are put on 145 sets of modular mounting structures on 1015 pile foundations at the Solar Plant.
- The electricity generated in this plant will be provided to the Indian Railways free of cost.
- 8 MU of electricity per year is being expected to be generated from this Solar Plant.
- 2,160 Tonnes of Carbon dioxide emission annually will be saved from this Solar Plant.
The Plan of Utilizing Solar Energy to Power the Railway Stations
In the Union Budget 2017-18, it was announced that solar power would be used to power approximately 7,000 railway stations across the country in the medium term.
The government declared in the budget that 2,000 railway stations would be built as part of its 1000-Megawatt solar project.
The objective of the Indian Railways to become a Net Zero Carbon Emission Rail Network will be accelerated by the usage of solar power. To achieve this, the Indian Railways had developed plans to set up 20 GW capacity solar power plants by utilizing its vacant land by 2030.
Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited is a government-owned manufacturing and engineering organization which is headquartered in New Delhi. It falls under the ambit of the Ministry of Heavy Industries. BHEL is India’s largest power generation equipment company and was established in 1956. Nalin Shinghal is the Chairman & Managing Director of BHEL.