Going green has always been a priority of the Indian Railways. Among their many ways to do so, relying on solar power stands out.
In July 2017, the Railways launched its first 1,600 HP Solar Diesel Electrical Multiple Unit train. The train has 16 solar panels of 300 watt capacity on each coach. The energy generated through those panels can be stored in batteries, for night use as well. Read about this here.
In another initiative, platform roofs turned into electricity mediums, under the “Mission 41K” scheme, which might help save around Rs 4,100 crore in electricity bills, over a ten-year period from 2015 to 2025. Mumbai’s Western Railway wants to install these panels in 23 locations on the Churchgate-Virar route. Read more about this ambitious initiative here.
Now, Guwahati station, is the first in the North-East, to completely switch to solar power. Just like the above initiatives, solar power is being utilised–this time–to power an entire station.
The solar power plant at Guwahati station was commissioned in April 2017. Expectations were high, and the station was touted to reduce its carbon footprint and save a lot of money by cutting down on electricity.
Here are some pictures of the panels that harness the sun’s energy, placed on the roof of the station.
With savings in electrical expenses to the tune of Rs 67 lakh, the 6.7 crore project is being funded by CONCOR, an initiative of the Ministry of Railways. Among other things, CONCOR is responsible for three core businesses-cargo carrying, terminal operations and warehouse operations. Sahibabad’s Central Electronics Ltd is behind the installation of the plant.
The roof-top solar power plant has around 2,352 solar modules, which generated a massive 7,96,669 KWH of power from April 12, 2017, to May 10, 2018, with an average generation of 2,048 KWh each day.
The Chief Public Relations Officer of the North-East Frontier Railway, Pranav Jyoti Sharma, is optimistic about the project’s impact and told the Financial Express that this beneficial project is a first for the region.
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Guwahati railway station is an important terminal–located right in the heart of the city. It is an NSG 2 classified station, which means its earnings are between Rs 100 to Rs 500 crore. Known as the ‘Gateway to the North-East’, this station sees a footfall of more than 40,000 passengers daily. Turning the station into a solar-powered one is quite the benchmark for other green stations in the country.
Featured image courtesy: Facebook.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)