New Delhi, Feb 1 : With the ambitious plan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to install 175 GW of Solar by 2022-23, and to reduce fuel burden of Indian Railways, the Union Budget 2020-21 puts thrust on running the Railways in the next five years on clean energy.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Chairman Railway Board Vinod Kumar Yadav said to reduce fuel burden of IR, it has been endeavoured to install land based solar plants across Railways. The plants will be set up on unused vacant land. There is about 51,000 hectare of Railway land available. Of this, it is estimated that available feasible vacant land has a potential of 10 GW for installing land based solar plants.
The Union Budget was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament earlier in the day. "The Solar power so generated will be fed to CTU/STU Grid or directly to 25 kV AC traction system. A proof of concept of feeding solar power directly to 25 kV AC traction system of 5 kVA capacity is already demonstrated. Further, to scale up 2 pilot projects of 2 MW at Diwana (Haryana) & 1.7 MW at Bina (M.P.) are already under different stages of execution and likely to be commissioned by March 2020," he added.
In addition, Railways is also setting up a 50 MW land solar power plant at Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, which is likely to be commissioned by January 2021. (UNI)