Developers have until Sept. 1 to bid for capacity along railway tracks and on company-owned land across a number of Indian states.
Bidders have until September 16 to pitch for generation capacity which can be installed on vacant land owned by the rail company nationwide.
The projects – to be developed in three phases of 1 GW each – will be completed by the end of 2023. While the first and third phases will be developed under public-private partnerships, the second phase will be built under India’s Central Public Sector Undertaking Scheme.
Storage has long been expected to be the handmaiden of a renewable energy world and its long awaited advances started to finally emerge in the third quarter as researchers posited R&D achievements ranging from potentially potent tungsten disulfide nanotubes to the business case for 10-year solar panels.
With 95.67 MW already installed on railway buildings, a further 248.46 MW, awarded by the Railway Energy Management Company Limited, is under development.
The plan, announced in parliament, is an extension to the bid by the national rail operator to install 1 GW of solar generation capacity during the current fiscal year and hit 5 GW in 2025. The emphasis will be on trackside and static rooftop installations rather than solar train roofs, said India’s minister for railways.
Narendra Modi’s BJP party is seeking re-election with the aim of ensuring the electrification of all railways by 2022 and turning renewable energy into a popular movement with steps including an emphasis on solar farming. Even if the elections spring a surprise, however, the renewable momentum is unlikely to slow as no government can afford to roll back the clean power tide.
The procurement will be worth an estimated $2.25 billion, and will stipulate the use of 1.2 GW of Indian-made equipment. The power generated will replace 4 GW of coal-fired electricity consumption used by the railways.
The total capacity of 5 MW Solar as part of railways 1,000 MW solar mission is commissioned on four central stations – Hazrat Nizamuddin, Anand Vihar, New Delhi, and Old Delhi Railway Station.
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