Tapping alternative sources of energy : Southern Railway is on mission mode to becoming energy efficient

Solar panels installed at Dr MGR Chennai Central

Southern Railway is taking all out efforts in harnessing alternative sources of energy.  In tune with the robust policies of Ministry of Railways, Southern Railway has been cutting down on energy costs making substantial savings in this front.   With the vision of becoming ‘Green mode of transport’, the zone is expediting its electrification projects and thus reducing carbon emission.  270 route kilometrage of Electrified lines are targeted for completion in this financial year (2020-21).  Besides Solar power projects, innovative initiatives such as harnessing renewable energy through Wind mills is also gaining momentum. 

The total capacity of Solar power plants installed by Southern Railway is  4.74 MWp.  3.985 MWp solar plant was installed under PPA ( Power Purchase Agreement) mode and 0.755 MW was installed departmentally.  Solar power panels have been installed at various locations/railway stations such as Dr MGR Central Central, MMC complex, Katpadi , Tambaram EMU car-shed, Mambalam, Guindy and Chengalpattu suburban stations,Divisional Railway Managers’ Offices at Tiruchchirappalli and Madurai, Chief Workshop Manager’s Office at Trichy Golden Rock Workshop, at Level Crossing Gates in Nagercoil-Thiruvananthapuram section, Signal & Telecom Workshop at Podanur, Salem Jn, Namakkal, Tiruppur, Sivakasi,  to mention a few. 

The zone has ambitious plans to increase solar power generation in the coming years. It is proposed to provide Rooftop solar plants of 2.69 MWp under developer mode by Solar power developer at Perambur and Golden Rock workshops. Solar plants  on vacant unused railway land will be installed with a capacity of around 67 MWp and capacity of 40 MWp will be installed along the track over Southern Railway through PPA mode. For this purpose, Southern Railway has identified 300 acres of vacant land and 160 acres of land alongside the track. Tender has been floated by Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL) for around 67 MWp land based solar plants and bidders are doing survey in Southern Railway. Tender for 40 MWp on land alongside the track is expected to be floated by REMCL shortly.

SRly Windmill Plant at Kayathar

With focus on harnessing renewable energy through Windmills, Windmill Plants have been erected at Kayathar (near Gangai Kondan/Kadambur Railway stations) in Tuticorin district under Madurai division of Southern Railway.  The total capacity of Wind Mill plants in Southern Railway is 10.5 MW. 

Southern Railway Wind Mill Plant at Kayathar

By way of increasing its capacity of Solar power plants and Windmills, Southern Railway has achieved a savings of Rs.16.64 crores from renewable energy sources during the year 2019-20.  The Railway is committed to fast tracking its renewable energy projects with a vision to cut down power costs and support the Nation’s cause for ‘Atma-Nirbhar’