Shift to solar energy helps NF Railway cut power expenditure

first_imgThe sun has helped the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) save big on energy without having to spend on installation of solar panels. The shift to solar energy at railway stations, level crossings, barracks and other set-ups has coincided with the NFR’s push for electrification of 6,242 km of tracks till the farthest points such as Murkongselek near Assam’s border with Arunachal Pradesh and Sabroom on the Tripura-Bangladesh border.The NFR had during the 2018-19 fiscal commissioned solar panels generating a peak 2,298 KW energy that helped it consume 23.07 lakh units less of electricity leading to a saving of ₹1.88 crore.“This was after paying two executing agencies — one from New Delhi and the other from Hyderabad — for the solar energy at rates fixed by them. It has been a win-win deal for the NFR and the agencies which set up the solar panels and off-grid solar plants free of cost. The assets will be ours after 25 years during which the agencies will recover their costs,” NFR spokesperson Pranav Jyoti Sharma said.Some major railway stations including Guwahati and Dibrugarh have become fully solar-powered while others are in the process of transformation. The ongoing projects cover a few workshops of the NFR.Mr. Sharma said 1,140 KW of solar power was under installation for a targeted saving of ₹98.03 lakh. By March, the NFR hopes to add 2,935 KW to save another ₹1.71 crore. The railway zone has also been exploring the possibility of harnessing wind energy in its hill sections.The NFR has completed electrification of 534 km of broad gauge tracks primarily in the Katihar (Bihar) division. The zone expects to electrify 2,631 km more by March.last_img

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