The Indian Railways has announced new grand plans to enhance its renewable energy production.
According to media reports, the Indian Railways is planning to set up around 5 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity across the country in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The capacity addition will be a mix of rooftop and ground-mounted projects.
The Indian Railways has managed to identify the solar power resource in two states so far — Gujarat and Rajasthan — where 25 MW of rooftop and 50 MW of ground-mounted capacity is to be commissioned in the first phase of the program. In the second phase, 60 MW of rooftop and 660 MW of ground-mounted capacity will be installed in nine other states. During the third phase, 400 MW of rooftop and 3,800 MW of ground-mounted capacity will be installed in the rest of the country.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Railways issued a tender to set up 50 MW of rooftop solar power capacity. Another 100 MW tender is expected to he floated soon.
The Indian Railways has already announced a plan 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.
Last year, the Indian Railways also announced plans to issue green bonds to potentially raise funds to fuel its renewable energy expansion.