A pilot project to use railway land along tracks and install solar panels to generate power was successfully carried out at Bina. Foundation for the project that was laid in November last year is expected to be operational by next month.
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had in her Budget speech announced to set up solar power panels on railway land and solar power grids along railway tracks.
This is the first time that a solar power plant is being set up by the Railways in collaboration with Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL) on its land. Electricity generated from this will operate trains. Conventional solar power plants have 440 V output for general services like lighting etc.
The Bina project will have stepped up voltage of 25,000 Volts through transformers, to be fed to the traction system, duly synchronized with OHE for train operations.
DRM Bhopal Uday Borwanker told TOI that 1.7 MW solar plant will generate 24.82 lakh units of electricity annually. This will be used to run trains. At present, the Railways purchase electricity from power plants at the rate of Rs 5.50 per unit.Senior officials said they hope that the railways will save Rs 1.37 crore annually from this plant.
In addition, BHEL is supplying these panels for free. According to the information, similar plants will be set up across the country.
DRM Borwanker said that most stations of the division including Bhopal, Itarsi, Bina of Bhopal divisions have rooftop solar panels.
Apart from this, solar panels have also been installed at railway colony, DRM office and level crossing gates. The electricity generated from this is currently used in non-traction work. There is a lot of scope on the Bhopal division tracks for the solar power grid along the railway tracks in the budget.
Referred from economic times, dated 04 feb 2020