Spanish railway operator builds 20 MW solar plant for train traction


From pv magazine Spain

Renfe, a Spanish railway operator, has unveiled plans to build a 20 MW solar project to power its trains. Most of the generated electricity will be used for train traction, with any excess power being sold on the market.

The pilot facility, to be built near Valladolid, will help Renfe to assess self-consumption levels. The project is expected to continue for around five years, with an estimated investment of €27 million ($28.5 million).

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In 2021, Renfe offered €233 million to develop 390 MW of self-consumption solar capacity for its high-speed trains. The company also intends to cover more than 40% of electricity consumption at 14 maintenance bases with 11 MW of photovoltaic panels for self-consumption.

In 2019, UK-based climate change charity 10:10 developed a demonstrator solar array in partnership with Community Energy South and national rail infrastructure operator Network Rail. According to the developers, a solar plant can theoretically be connected to any traction substation and supply from 5 km to 10 km of the track in either direction.

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