7000 Railway Stations Would Be 100% Solar Powered; Govt Allocates Rs 8100 Cr For Doubling Solar Power in India
Govt. of India has decided to go full throttle for pushing solar power generation in the country. As per reports coming in, massive increase in budget has been allocated to double solar power generation, even as plans for putting 7000 railway stations under 100% solar power is rapidly underway.
India now wants to become world’s leading hub for alternate energy, and the right buttons are being pressed for the same.
Solar Power Generation Would Be Doubled
The cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA), which is being headed by PM Modi has agreed to allocate a budget of Rs 8100 crore for doubling solar power generation to 40,000 MW by the end of 2020.
Right now, India produces around 9000 MW of solar energy, which had been pledged to increase to 20,000 MW by 2020. But now, the goal is 40,000 MW.
In association with Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and other Govt. associations, 50 special solar parks would be established, such that each of these parks generate a minimum of 500 MW power every year.
This fresh allocation of budget, and a pledge to increase solar power generation to 40,000 MW up from estimated 20,000 MW by 2020 is a big boost to the industry.
Especially after tariffs for solar power fell to record low of Rs 2.9 per kilo-watt hour. Recently, leading solar power generating companies quoted their price for working on World’s largest solar power plant at Rewa in Madhya Pradesh (which is expected to generate 750 MW of solar energy)
And Mahindra Renewables Pvt. Ltd, Acme Solar Holdings Pvt. Ltd and Sweden’s Solenergi Power Pvt. Ltd quotes the following bids for working for winning the contract: Rs 2.979 per kWh, Rs2.97 per kWh and Rs2.974 per kWh respectively.
7000 Railway Stations To Be 100% Solar Powered
During the budget announcement, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced that 700 railway stations would be solar powered by 2020. As per latest reports coming in, work has started in full swing to achieve this mission, which would be path-breaking in several aspects. India has 7137 railway stations right now, and if 7000 of them are converted into solar energy, then the amount of energy saved would be incredible.
And, Indian Railway would become World’s 1st railway to use 100% solar power across 99% of its stations.
As per reports coming in, installation of solar power across 300 railway stations have begun, mainly in Rajasthan and Gujarat, which are Sun-abundant states with less rainfall and more sunny days.
Railways has already floated tenders for generating 25 MW of solar energy from rooftop installations at railway stations, and within few weeks, the contract for 2000 railway stations would be finalised.
Note here, that Govt. has planned the monetization aspect as well. The contracts and tenders for installing roof-top solar power generators would be based on developer mode, wherein the project developer will sign long term contract for power-purchase from these solar installations. These developers would be then assigned to sell the same power to end-users, thereby ensuring that cost of the project is recovered.
As per some reports, in the first phase, each railway station has been planned to generate 25 MW of solar power at rooftop and 50 MW of solar power via ground-mounted installations. In the 2nd phase, 60 MW of rooftop and 660 MW of ground-mounted solar energy would be generated, across 9 states.
Railways is also working with UN Development Program for generating 5 gigawatts of solar power via various projects.
We will keep you updated as more details come in..