Delhi division: solar energy is our focus with three objectives – energy conservation, reduction in energy expenditure, pollution-free environment
To keep its train operations environment-friendly and also cost-effective, Northern Railway is tapping into solar energy in a big way.
As part of this ‘green drive’, the Delhi Division of Northern Railway is also trying to meet as much of its energy needs through solar power as possible. The division is tapping solar energy not only at its major buildings and structures but also on moving trains, as part of a pilot project.
“We already have rooftop solar panels at railway stations such as New Delhi and Delhi Cantonment, among others, but also atop a large number of platform shelters at these stations. These measures have helped us bring down our electricity consumption bills in a significant way,” said Arun Arora, Divisional Railway Manager, Delhi Division.
“The Delhi Division is tapping solar power, whether at platform shelters, railway stations or service buildings. One of our pilot projects is to convert an entire express train – Shaan-e-Punjab – with solar panels on top,” said Mr. Arora.
“Already one coach of the rake has rooftop solar panels and it has been running satisfactorily for the last one year. We are planning to have these panels on each coach of the train,” he said.
“Solar energy is our focus area with three primary objectives – energy conservation, reduction in energy expenditure and keeping the environment pollution free. We are not leaving any stone unturned to fulfil these three objectives,” he said.
“This is apart from our other initiatives such as the waste water recycling plant at Kishanganj in Delhi,” he said.
The Delhi Division has also installed a 25 kb power Solar Energy Panel at Gurgaon station in collaboration with RITES. Also, solar geysers have been installed at the Northern Railway Central Hospital in Delhi. Other establishments where solar energy is being tapped in a major way include the Delhi Divisional Railway Manager’s office, Sahibabad station and other stations and offices. While the Delhi Division is trying to cut down on its energy consumption at major railway stations in Delhi NCR, there are many stations in the Division that face regular power cuts and do not even have reliable power supply. At many such small stations in the NCR, the authorities have to depend on gensets for carrying out important operations. The Division is now planning to install solar power plants at most of these stations to tide over the power shortage problem.
The biggest achievement of the Northern Railway in harnessing solar energy has been at the solar power plant at the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Railway Station, which is meeting energy needs of 5,000 kilo watts daily through solar power. The one Megawatt Peak (MWP) rooftop grid at the station is the largest rooftop solar power plant on the Indian Railways network and the largest in Jammu and Kashmir.
The plant not only takes care of the energy needs of the station but Northern Railway has also made an arrangement for import/export of excess energy production with Power Development Department of J&K government.