Railways Planning to Generate 20 GW Renewable Energy on Surplus Land: Goyal

Indian Railways is planning to use its surplus land to generate 20 GW of renewable energy from ‘Made in India’ solar or wind equipment to power its network

The Indian Railways is planning to use its surplus land to generate 20 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy from ‘Made in India’ solar or wind equipment to power its network, Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and Railways Piyush Goyal has said. Further adding that the Indian Railways will be a 100 percent electricity-driven rail network in the coming years which would make it the largest such network in the world.

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While addressing a virtual programme on ‘Powering Livelihoods: Transforming India’s Rural Economy with Clean Energy Solutions’ hosted by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), Goyal said that the Railways’ surplus land along the tracks is going to be utilised for generating renewable energy from indigenous equipment.

“We plan to use a lot of our surplus land and land along the tracks to generate 20 GW (gigawatts)…’Made in India’ solar or wind equipment being used to give us 20 GW production capacity of renewable energy and enough kWh to power our entire railway,” Goyal said.

The railways may need to either expand battery storage or other forms of storage for this, he added.

Along the same lines in July, the Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL) – a JV of the Ministry of Railways and RITES Ltd, had issued a tender on behalf of the Indian Railways for setting up of 1 GW ground-mounted solar power plants on railway land along the railway tracks pan India. The tender is still open and the last date for submission of responses to the Request for Qualification (RFQ) and the Request for Proposal (RfP) is September 2, 2020.

The scope of work for the selected project developers will broadly include the design, build, finance, operation, long– term maintenance and transfer of assets for solar PV project and the supply of electricity to Railways under long-term fixed-rate PPA.

At the back end of April, RITES limited had issued a tender for setting up of 1 GW of land-based solar photovoltaic (PV) power projects on land owned by the Indian Railways. The scope of work for the selected bidders will include (but not be limited to) design, procurement, installation, supply, testing and commissioning of the grid-connected solar power projects on various zonal railways land across India.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.