New Delhi: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal today launched the railways’ first set of solar plants with a total capacity of 5 megawatt peak (MWp), an ambitious project aimed at reducing the national transporter’s carbon footprint.

The project is part of the government’s National Solar Mission in which Indian Railways plans to commission 1,000 MWp solar plants across its network.

The minister launched the plants at the inauguration of the ‘International Conference on Green Initiatives and Railway Electrification’ here.

“We are working in a time-bound manner to skillfully and effectively transform the Indian Railways into a world class transporter. We shall be able to accomplish 100 per cent electrification at lower prices with an incentive-cum-penalty scheme,” he said, adding that all payments of the railways will be done within a span of 30 days.

The plants on the roof tops of Hazrat Nizamuddin, New Delhi, Anand Vihar and Delhi railway stations will generate 76.5 lakh units of solar power cumulatively per year, and shall meet about 30 per cent of the energy requirement of these stations.

Through the project, the railways will save Rs 421.4 lakh annually and will reduce 6,082 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

The project was awarded in December 2016. The cost of the project is Rs.37.45 crore and has been bought in by the developer under the PPP model.

The developer will also maintain it for 25 years and the Railways will only pay energy consumed at Rs 4.14 per unit, officials said.

Goyal added that the railways has targeted 10 per cent reduction in energy consumption in non-traction operations, thereby saving about Rs 250 crore annually.

The two-day International Conference on Green Initiatives and Railway Electrification will deliberate on finding new ways to increase the use of renewable energy by the national transporter.

PTI