Railways provides a 3 GW Boost for Solar targets

The Engineering and Consultancy firm RITES Ltd, which executes key projects specifically for the Indian Railways, announced yesterday that its subsidiary Railway Energy Management Company Ltd (REMCL) has secured its largest mandate from Indian Railways for tendering, installation, supervision and managing power supply for three GW solar energy installations.

These plant will be set up on railways owned land that has already been identified. The three GW project initiative, with a deadline for completion by 2022-23, will be a shot in the arm for India’ flagging solar ambitions, where the 100 GW solar target for 2022 is looking more and more distant with each passing month.

This project is to be divided into three phases of one gigawatt (GW) each, with the first and third phases of 1 GW each on a PPP (public-private partnership) basis under the design, build, finance, operate and transfer model. The Second phase of the project (1 GW) will be on the ownership model of REMCL, making it eligible for capital subsidy under the CPSE investment scheme. The 12 GW CPSE scheme was promised a lookover by Power and MNRE Minister R.K. Singh recently,  due to its slow progress. He had mentioned plans to consolidate the scheme with a few select central PSU’s, instead of leaving it open for all .

Rajeev Mehrotra, chairman and managing director of RITES Ltd and chairman of REMCL, said, “This is the largest mandate received by REMCL for tendering, installation and power management of solar energy.”

He also hoped that the project would  establish REMCL’s credentials  as the green energy solution provider and energy manager to Indian Railways and firmly establish REMCL in the green energy sector in India. Opening up more project opportunities for the firm.

Besides bid management fee in the beginning, REMCL would earn long-term revenue through supply management from these installations that may amount to about Rs 20 crore per year to REMCL during the life of the project, the statement said.

REMCL has been tasked to handle the entire power procurement under open access for Indian Railways besides handling renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. For railways minster Piyush Goyal, the solar push in the national carrier is no surprise, coming as it does after Mr Goyal’s own stint in the power ministry, where he gave the first, major thrust to renewable energy, especially solar during his stint there, till Mr R.K. Singh took over.

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