The Indian Railways has finally announced plans to expand its presence in the solar power market with an aim to aid the government’s plan to have 100 GW operational solar power capacity by March 2022.
The Ministry of Railways has launched a tender to set up 50 MW rooftop solar power capacity. The ministry also said that an additional capacity of 100 MW will also be offered to prospective developers.
These rooftop solar power projects are expected to be installed atop several railways stations across the country. The Indian Railways may also set up utility-scale solar power projects in the near-future.
The Indian Railways is planning to set up 1 GW of solar power capacity over the next few years and is currently working on a plan to implement this capacity. The large-scale solar PV projects are likely to come up on the vast area of unused land available with the Railways. This capacity will be set up with support from the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy through financial assistance from the National Clean Energy Fund.
The power generated from these large-scale power plants may be used for meeting the Renewable Purchase Obligation of the Railways, which is one of the largest consumers of electricity in the country, or it could be sold to the power utilities at a fixed pre-determined rate.
Last year, the Indian Railways also announced plans to issue green bonds to potentially raise funds to fuel its renewable energy expansion.
The Indian Government has asked public sector companies to set up large-scale as well as rooftop solar power projects and contribute towards to the target of 100 GW installed solar power capacity by March 2022.