Clean Power

Published on March 4th, 2016 | by Saurabh Mahapatra


Indian Railways To Launch 150 MW Solar Power Tender

March 4th, 2016 by  

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.

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About the Author

A young solar enthusiast from India keeping an eye on all regulatory, policy and market updates from one of the fastest emerging solar power markets in the world.

  • JamesWimberley

    150 MW is toe-dipping, enough for a dozen stations perhaps. The potential is vast, especially as all the possible sites are already connected to the grid.

    BTW, can anybody explain the retro corporate logo? The thing in the middle is clearly a stylised steam locomotive, but is it a cowcatcher in front?

    • wattleberry

      I was watching a programme the other night about the huge tourist appeal of the antique steam railways which are only kept going for that reason.

      • Simple Indian

        We do not have many steam locomotives, few of which are operating are mostly for tourists or areas where old narrow gauge tracks will not replaced with broad gauge, diesel locos will be converted to either diesel electric hybrid or CNG Diesel hybrid.

        Our railways also electrifying the existing routes. The line which runs through my city is being electrified for a stretch of 208Kms.

        • neroden

          Wattlebury was explaining that the stylized steam locomotive on the Indian Railways logo was for tourist appeal. Since only tourists care about the logo. 🙂

    • Simple Indian

      If INDIAN RAILWAYS decides to electrify most of its routes then it will have to launch another 100GW of renewable energy.

      I see that problem with IR is some change short. Passenger traffic makes a loss of 23 paise per passenger per route kilometer. People those who are well off are also not interested in buying full priced tickets, but they want all the benefits, security, safety, facilities, etc

      IR has almost 8000 stations, very big, big, medium, small, mini, micro, tiny and may be a nano. Big stations will not produce enough to support themselves, but surely this little drop in the ocean will benefit.

      Medium and small stations may generate more than their need but again same problem like everywhere else – GRID. State utilities do not have the capacity to transfer nor to pay. In states like UP, Bihar, the PV panels may get robbed before installation.

      • JamesWimberley

        I would have thought that panel rustling would actually be more difficult from railway stations, which have staff on duty at all times for the trains, than from quiet rural solar farms occssionally patrolled by cleaners.

        My guess is that solar crime will show up first in Brazil. The drug gangs that control many favelas have a profitable sideline in pirated cable TV service, so running up stolen solar panels should not be a technical problem.

        • Ronald Brakels

          In India I’m pretty sure solar farms have full times staff. Of course that doesn’t mean it is not possible to steal panels, but it would make it more difficult.

          And looking on the bright side, at least stolen solar panels will be doing someone some good, no matter they end up. Sure, it would be better if they were providing the people with electricity rather than ending up on the roof of a crimelord’s villa, but at least they will still cut down on carbon emissions.

          The best PV anti-theft measures are probably (1) continued price decreases for PV and (2) continued broadly spread increases in living standards, and (3) greater use of huge, “utility sized” solar panels. Those 5.7 square meter ones have to be difficult to sneak away with.

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