Indian Railways has planned to source about 1000 Mega Watt (MW) Solar Power and about 200 MW of wind power progressively by 2021-22 across Zonal Railways & Production Units. Of this, 500 Mega Watt (MW) solar plants are to be installed on the roof top of Railway buildings which will be used to meet non-traction loads at Railway Stations, etc. About 500 MW land based solar plants will be used to meet both traction & non-traction requirements.
South Central Railway is one of the zones actively implementing several measures aimed at energy conservation by harnessing renewable energy. One of the significant actions taken in this direction has been the installation of solar panels at stations, service buildings, LC gates etc across the zone. Taking this step to the next level, for the first time all the stations in a particular section of the South Central Railway have been provided with solar panels at one stretch to tap the natural energy. This will not only help in meeting power needs of all the stations in the section but also save expenditure for the Railways.
The Nandyal – Yerraguntla section in Guntakal Division has been declared as the first solar section in South Central Railway. Nandyal – Yerraguntla section is a new railway line laid by Railways and opened for passenger traffic in the year 2016 to bring the hinterland areas into rail map by providing rail connectivity. All the 08 stations in the section – Madduru, Banaganapalle, Koilakuntla, Sanjamala, Nossam, S.Uppalapadu, Jammalamadugu and Proddutur – have been provided with solar panels capable of meeting all the power needs at these railway stations.
In order to make use of solar power, 37 kWp off Grid Roof Top Solar plants along with 250/125 Wp solar panels have been installed in each station. In addition, Inverters and 12V 150 AH Battery banks are also installed at all these stations. The total connected load on solar plants is on an average 30 kWp. In total, 152 solar panels have been installed at these stations. With an average exposure of 8 sunny hours per day, 148 KWh energy units can be generated throughout the year resulting in energy generation of 54,020 units. Anticipated savings in terms of revenue is around Rs 5 lakh per annum. Significantly, it also helps in reducing carbon footprint to the tune of 49 metric tonnes per annum thus contributing towards greener environs.
16 stations have already been declared Green Railway stations across Indian Railways, which are meeting energy needs completely either through solar or wind power. These stations are Roha, Pen, Apta in Central Railway, Niamatpur halt, Kanhaipur halt, Teka Bigha halt, Mai halt, Garsanda halt, Niyazipur halt, Dhamaraghat in East Central Railway, Shri Mata Vaisno Devi, Shimla in Northern Railway, Unhel, Khanderi, Bajud, Ambli Road, Sadanapura & Sachin in Western Railway – are 100% Green Powered stations.