Green railways: Chennai MGR station is solar powered
In a big step towards becoming the world’s largest green rail network, Puratchi Thalaivar Dr. MG Ramachandran Central (DRM) or Chennai Central Station, under the South Central Railway (SCR) is powered by solar energy.
Chennai station became the first station in India to achieve the goal of 100% daily energy needs thanks to solar panels installed on the platform shelters of the station.
Tweeting a photo of the station, Union Minister of Railways Ashwani Vaishnav informed that the station had installed a solar power capacity of 1.5 MW, and subsequently all energy needs stations will be satisfied by this solar energy.
In fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took to Twitter to hail this excellent initiative, stating “Glad to see Puratchi Thalaivar Dr MG Ramachandran Central Station leading the way in solar power”.
Set foot on green railways
SCR is the first of many Indian railway areas to adopt the concept of “energy neutral” stations. Chennai station is now able to meet 100% of its energy needs thanks to solar energy put into service on its 13 station buildings.
Along with this, electrical panels have been installed at various locations and stations, including the MMC complex, Tambaram, Mambalam, Katpati and others.
Indian railways are heading to “zero carbon emissions“
To become the largest green rail network in the world, Indian Railways is now moving towards “net carbon emission” by 2030. Earlier, on World Environment Day 2021, the national carrier, in a statement, had said the railroads is heading towards a full green restart.
In order to exploit the extreme potential of renewable energies, the railways are pushing aggressively towards the installation of solar stations which will contribute to the protection of the environment.
In this regard, SCR’s recent achievement has already set a deep footing towards Indian Railways’ “green restart” goal.
Recognizing these great developments, Indian Railways are awarding green certifications to stations built keeping in mind sustainable development goals such as energy conservation measures, use of renewable energy, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, etc.
AtmaNirbhar Railways: Solar energy for self-sufficiency
India is on the verge of a “energy revolution”Where the main sectors of the economy are accelerating their technologies to reduce carbon emissions while promoting sustainable development.
The country has enormous potential for solar energy, which is undeniably the most abundant renewable energy source available in India. Being the third largest energy consumer in the world, India needs a healthy mix of all commercial energy sources.
In this regard, Indian Railways already has a capacity of 220 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy, with a capacity of almost 3,450 MW in the pipeline. The ministry says it has a potential of 20 GW of solar power and plans to use its vacant plots to install onshore solar power plants for its traction electricity needs.
Currently, Indian Railways is collaborating with several donor agencies and stakeholders to accelerate its low carbon journey. He even signed a memorandum of understanding with the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Ofce (FCDO) for collaboration on energy and sustainability as part of its power sector reform agenda.
Indian Railways installs solar panels on the roofs of its various stations and service buildings to meet its non-traction energy needs. More than 1,000 stations have been covered with solar panels on the roof and more are in preparation
Indian Railways has also planned the installation of a unique hybrid solar and storage pilot project in Dahod, Gujarat, connected to the rail traction network.
Solar powered railway stations across India
According to a report from the Ministry of Railways, a solar capacity of 111 MW has already been installed on the roofs of various stations and administrative buildings by January 2021, such as:
- 3 MW rooftop solar power plant at Howrah stations
- 1 MW rooftop solar at Katra stations
- 3 MW terrestrial solar project at the Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli
- A 1.7 MW solar pilot project to power the Indian Railways traction grid directly with solar energy was commissioned in Bina, Madhya Pradesh in June 2020.
In addition, Indian Railways are commissioning several solar projects in different railway areas in India to expand the goal of installing as many solar stations as possible.
In conclusion, India is on the right track when it comes to working on Green Restart, and Indian Railways are working in mission mode to achieve this goal with the goal of becoming a ‘net zero carbon emitter’ before 2030.