Western Railways Saves Over 1.5 Crores in 4 Months Using Solar Power

The Western Railway (WR) recently announced that it has saved over 1.5 crores in the last four months using solar energy. In the fiscal year 2021-22, the zone achieved savings of over three crores.

Western Railways is one of the 18 zones of Indian Railways.

It has six divisions: Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Ratlam, Rajkot, and Bhavnagar. It is also one of the busiest railway networks in India.

The organization has installed solar panels over 95 stations and 46 buildings in the Mumbai division, and in parts of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The Mumbai division alone has saved over 81 lakhs in the last four months and over 1.49 crores in the past year.

“The panels which are set atop prominent stations and railway buildings across WR, generate 230-volt electricity that can help operate domestic appliances.

The remaining power is then returned to the grid. During summers, the solar energy generated is much more than in other months. It all depends upon the weather,” said a senior Western Railways officer.

The official added that rooftop solar plants have been installed over car sheds, office buildings, and hospitals. Moreover, fans and lights in most suburban railway stations, run on solar energy.

Every year, WR increases its electricity generation unit capacity. Till September 2020, the zone’s total rooftop solar capacity was 8.67 MWp. As per Mr. Sumit Thakur, the Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railways, the zone currently has a rooftop solar power capacity of 10.67 MW. That’s a 23% capacity increase in 2 years.

“These plants have been commissioned and connected to the grid and as a result, there was a saving of ₹3 crores during the last financial year. Using solar power helps the Railway’s mission to achieve the goal of becoming Net Zero Carbon Emission before 2030,” adds Mr. Thakur.

Indian Railways has committed to the goal of ‘100% electrification by 2023’. The organization has also planned to meet its energy consumption needs of more than 33 billion units through solar power by 2030.

To meet this goal, all zones of the Indian Railway are striving to expand their renewable energy capacity. Recently, North Central Railway announced that they had generated 38.4 lakh units of electricity using solar energy in the first quarter of 2022-23.

Moreover, Southern Railway saved approximately ₹55 crores by employing solar and wind energy from 2017 to July 2022.

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Resource: The Hindustan Times

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