In a bid to curb pollution and transform itself as ‘Net Zero’ Carbon Emission Mass Transportation Network by 2030, Indian Railways has set up a 1.7 megawatt solar power plant in Madhya Pradesh’s Bina.
The solar power plant has been established near the Bina Traction Sub Station (TSS). It can produce approximately 25 lakh units of energy annually and will save around INR 1.37 Crore for Railway every year.
The energy generated from the power plant will be used to run trains.
According to the official release 1.7 MWp of solar project at Bina (Madhya Pradesh) which shall be connected directly to Overhead Traction System has already been installed and is presently under extensive testing.
It is likely to be commissioned within 15 days.
This is the first of its kind project in the world commissioned by Indian Railways in collaboration with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). It involves adoption of innovative technology for converting Direct Current (DC) to single phase Alternating Current (AC) for feeding directly to Railway’s overhead traction system.
Indian Railways (IR) and BHEL officials have worked tirelessly to successfully implement this innovative project. The project was undertaken by BHEL under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) scheme.
Despite the COVID 19 lockdown and consequent difficulties faced in the availability of material and manpower, IR and BHEL worked together as a team to accomplish this mission in just 8 months from the date of signing of the agreement on 9th October, 2019.
The key challenge in this project was the conversion of DC power generated from solar panels to the single phase 25 KV AC power which is used by the Railways traction system. This required the development of high capacity inverters with single phase output which were not readily available in the market.
The solar panels generate DC energy which will be converted into AC energy through these unique inverters and stepped up to 25 kV AC -1 ϕ through the transformer to directly feed power to the BINA TSS which will be used for running of electric trains, noted the railway ministry in its official release.
In addition to this, two pilot projects for the scheme of land based solar plants for meeting electric traction energy requirements of Indian Railways are under implementation. One of them is a 50 MWp solar power plant on vacant unused land at Bhilai (Chhattisgarh) which shall be connected with Central Transmission Utility (CTU) and is targeted to be commissioned before 31st March, 2021.
The 2 MWp solar plant at Diwana (Haryana) which shall be connected to State Transmission utility (STU) is expected to be commissioned before 31st August, 2020.