According to reports, as part of the Indian Railways’ push to tap renewable energy, the Mysuru Division is tapping solar energy resources to reduce its dependence on conventional forms of energy dependent on coal and water.
With this in mind, a 15 kW capacity wind and solar hybrid project is being established at Birur station at an estimated cost of Rs. 37.34 lakh, according to the Divisional Railway Manager Rajkumar Lal.
This is in pursuance of the Railway’s drive to meet a portion of its energy from renewable energy sources like solar, wind and biomass. Incidentally, the Railways is among the single largest entities consuming nearly 2 per cent of the country’s total power generated to meet its operational requirements.
“The work order for the Birur solar power plant has already been issued and it is likely to be completed in three months,” said D. Soundarajan, Senior Divisional Electrical Engineer, Mysore Division of the South Western Railway.
He told The Hindu that the unit at Birur would generate nearly 20,000 units of electricity a year, against the annual requirement of nearly 1.2 lakh units of that station, and hence the savings would be considerable. In addition to Birur, a proposal has been submitted for establishing a similar solar and wind hybrid unit to meet the power requirements of Chitradurga railway station.
The power generated will light the station building, platforms, unreserved ticketing system and passenger reservation system centres, apart from the waiting halls. This will help reduce dependence on the Electricity Board grid. It will also ensure uninterrupted power supply to the station.
Renewable energy is also being tapped to power the level-crossing (LC) gates, and there are 14 such gates operational in the Mysuru Division. “There are plans afoot to power 64 LC gates in the division using solar energy by the end of the current financial year, or latest by May 2016,” said Mr. Soundarajan.
The potential of solar and wind energy is reckoned to be high in most parts of India.