Southern Railway to set up solar panels in 38 locations

Rooftops to be utilised for setting up solar panels of varied capacity.

Chennai: In order to procure power at cheaper rates and to help reduce greenhouse gases, Southern Railway will be setting up solar panels across 38 locations in the southern zone, according to officials.

At present, Indian Railways is focusing on installing solar panels for provision of 50MW energy, of which 4MW will be for the southern zone.

“The building plans and panel designs are being studied. The designs will have to be vetted before the tenders are given out,” said a senior Southern Railway official.

Railways will be providing rooftop areas for setting up solar panels to Solar Power Developers and purchase power from them. The power purchase agreement will be for 25 years, post that the onus of maintenance will be on the Railways.

“The solar power developers will be Europe-based collaboration while solar panels will be procured by them from China,” said an official.

“At present, we are purchasing power at Rs 8 per kilowatt hour. When these panels are set up, we will procure power at much lower rates,” he added.

“Going by the needs of Southern Railway, 4 MW is a low quantity which would suffice for lighting and offices. Given economic viability and emission drop due to solar energy, this would penetrate more into railways in future,” said Prof. R Velraj, Director, Institute for Energy Studies, Anna University. Depending on the power needs of a location, the panel designs and capacity will be decided.

The plan of railways is to reduce the green house emissions by using solar and wind energy.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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