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Central zone installs first-ever floating solar plant of Indian Railways

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NEW DELHI: The Central Railway has installed a floating solar plant of 10 MWp capacity in the Igatpuri lake located in the Western Ghats, a first-of-its-kind initiative by the Indian Railways, senior officials said.

According to the Central Railway officials, the plant is committed to leveraging renewable energy sources, utilising solar power, installing wind-energy resources, providing adequate passenger amenities and contributing significantly towards the railways’ goal of a “green Earth”.

Besides, the officials said moving towards its ultimate goal of zero carbon emission by 2030, the Central Railway has commissioned 12.05-MWp solar plants by utilising the rooftop of railway stations and buildings, out of which, 4-MWp solar plants were provided last year.

“MWp stands for Megawatt Peak, which is a measure of the maximum potential output of power. This has resulted in a saving of Rs 4.62 crore in 2023-24 and a saving of carbon footprints of 6,594.81 MT. There are further plans to install an additional 7-MWp solar plant in the current year,” a senior Central Railway official said.

“Steps have also been taken to move towards renewable energy. At present, 56.4 MW of wind energy and 61 MW of solar energy are being tapped,” he added.

According to the Central Railway, agreements have been signed for the utilisation of 325 MW of solar and wind energy, which will be on the “round-the-clock” basis.

Besides this, 180 MW of solar and 50 MW of wind power is also likely to flow in the current financial year, officials said.

“These initiatives are equivalent to saving 2.5 lakh trees, which means the benefits provided by these measures are equal to that of the benefits provided by 2.5 lakh trees,” another senior railway official said.

The Central Railway maintains that its present monthly power consumption is 236.92 million units for traction work and 9.7 million units for non-traction work.

“After the commissioning of the above sources of renewable energy, it is expected that 70 per cent of the traction energy will be green,” the official said.

He added that the Bureau of Energy Efficiency has awarded the “Shunya-Plus” label to five buildings and “Shunya” label to two buildings of the Central Railway as on date.

“In an effort to encourage the building owners and promoters to make energy-efficient buildings and further making improvements to make net-zero or net-positive energy buildings, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency has introduced a labelling programme called Shunya for Net Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs) and Shunya Plus for Net Positive Energy Buildings (NPEBs). The awarding of these levels shows the dedicated efforts put in by the Central Railway towards the conservation of environment,” the official said. (PTI)

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