Railways to tap solar power to lower cost

New Delhi: After Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled an ambitious Rs 6 lakh crore solar power mission, the country’s largest utility Indian Railways is set to make a head start in tapping the new energy source to cut cost and reduce carbon footprint.

Sources told Bloomberg TV India the Railways will invite bids for the first public-private partnership solar power project of 50 MW within a month. “The bid will be worth Rs 300 crore,” an official said.

As part of the PPP agreement, the Railways will provide land for the project and buy the power produced from the solar plant.

While the solar power may look costly as compared with fossil fuel, it will even out in the coming years. “Railways will pay fixed price for the solar power for 25 years,” the official said.

Over a long term, Railways is planning to invest Rs 7,000 crore to ramp up solar power capacity to 1,000 MW.

With this, the Railways are looking to cut fuel bill by Rs 100 crore in five years. At present, Railways spend Rs 12,000 crore for buying electricity.

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