Indian Railways plans 1 GW Solar Power by 2020-21

The ambitious plan would help Indian Railways to source about 10% of its electrical energy from renewables.

NEW DELHI: As part of Go Green Initiatives, Indian Railways has already installed about 71.19 MW of rooftop PV at railways stations and service buildings.  Wind turbines with a capacity of 36.5 MW have been installed, out of which 26 MW at Jaisalmer was installed in 2015-16. The Indian Minister of State of Railways, Rajen Gohain, announced the achievement while speaking in Lok Sabha recently.

Building on this achievement, Indian Railways is planning to add solar panels to the rooftops of its rolling stock. It has already provided solar panels on rooftop of 19 narrow-gauge coaches and 23 broad-gauge non-air conditioned coaches in service.

The rooftop solar systems provide power for  around four to five hours, charging battery systems during this time. The systems do not work at full capacity during fog/rain and winter season and battery backup goes down to two to three hours depending upon weather conditions.

“Railways will provide solar panels on the rooftop of general coaches of two day-running intercity trains in Northern and Southern Railway and 50% Narrow Gauge coaches plying on Pathankot-Joginder Nagar route in Kangra Valley section and Kalka-Shimla section of Northern Railway for conducting extended trials for one year in all weather conditions,” the minister added.

The government of India is encouraging cash-rich public sector undertakings to set up renewable energy projects. Indian Railways has committed to develop 5 GW of solar power by 2025.

Indian Railways briefed Parliament on roof top Solar Panels

Indian Railways have already provided solar panels on roof top of 19 Narrow Gauge coaches on Trains in Kalka – Shimla and Kangra Valley in Northern Railway and 23 Broad Gauge non-air conditioned coaches in service

(13 coaches in 2 trains of Northern Railway, 7 coaches in 1 train of Southern Railway, 2 coaches in 1 train of Konkan Railway and 1 coach in 1 train of West Central Railway). Solar system works during sunlight and generates battery backup of approx. 4 to 5 hours.

System does not work properly during fog/rain and winter season and battery backup goes down to 2 to 3 hours depending upon weather condition.

Railways have taken decision to provide solar panel on roof top of general coaches of two number of day running intercity trains in Northern and Southern Railway and 50% Narrow Gauge coaches plying on Pathankot-Joginder Nagar route in

Kangra Valley section and Kalka-Shimla section of Northern Railway for conducting extended trials for one year in all weather conditions.

This information was given by the Minister of State of Railways, Shri Rajen Gohain in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

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