Agra: In the railway ministry’s continuing bid to go solar, the railway division here is installing a 375 kW solar power plant consisting of 1,191 rooftop panels at the Agra cantonment railway station. After Allahabad and Kanpur stations, Agra Cantonment station, in the NCR region, will harness solar energy under a public-private partnership (PPP) model. Officials also said that plans are afoot to install similar solar photovoltaic panels at Agra Fort station, Idgah station, level crossing gates, government offices, hospitals and official residences in the region.
According to a conservative estimate, the Agra railway division is likely to save Rs 5 lakh and 60,000 kilovolt electricity annually with this initiative. The private firm is expected to provide power at Rs 4 per unit by the use of solar cell panels. The Agra division currently pays around Rs 8 per unit for conventional electricity.
Sanchit Tyagi, divisional commercial manager of Agra division, said, “For the next 25 years, the firm will be providing power to all the railway facilities in Agra division. This green initiative will not only help in reducing carbon footprint but also help us to transfer power in remote locations in the future. It will also help in saving diesel.”
“Power generation from solar panels will start from November 20,” said a project manager of the private firm, on anonymity.
Earlier, the north central railway zone had installed similar rooftop solar panels at Allahabad station, Kanpur station, several hospitals, the divisional railway manager offices and in residences of government officials.
Under a green initiative, in 2014, the Indian railways had proposed to install solar power plants of about 8.8 Mega Watt capacity at 200 railway stations, 26 railway office buildings and 2,000 level crossing gates throughout the country under railway funding. The railways will also install windmill plants, with about 40% subsidy from the ministry of new and renewable energy.
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