The much-awaited Ahmedabad-Mumbai high-speed rail project is set to be powered with solar energy, with ‘Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Projects’ planned for various stations, starting with the upcoming Sabarmati terminal.
The structure at Sabarmati, with a 700 kWp (kilowatts peak) plant connected to a grid, will have solar panels on the station roof, replete with a ‘charkha’ symbol and panels on the building flanks commemorating Mahatma Gandhi’s iconic Dandi March of 1930.
The National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL) invited tenders on Thursday for the solar project at Sabarmati. The project will be awarded under the RESCO model for a period of 25 years.
“NHSRCL aims to reduce the fossil fuel-based electricity and make buildings self- sustainable from the point of electricity consumption, to the extent possible”, states the tender document.
Under the RESCO model, a renewable energy service company will develop, install, finance, operate as well as own the solar project. It will supply the generated solar power to NHSRCL and to the grid.
In 2020, the Centre had notified Parliament that it has installed 95.67 MW of rooftop solar systems at 835 railway stations and awarded 248.46 MW of solar capacity. This is part of India’s aim to reduce greenhouse emissions and achieve its renewable energy targets – aiming to fulfil a ‘net zero carbon emission’ model by 2030 – as promised in global climate forums.