Railways looking to access 10 MW through the day from Rewa Ultra Mega Solar project

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The Indian Railways is working on an arrangement where it can use Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Ltd (RUMS) as a power bank so that it can access 10 mega watt solar power throughout the day.

About Rewa Ultra mega solar Ltd:

RUMS is a joint venture of Solar Energy Corporation of India and the Madhya Pradesh government.

The solar power banking facility is being worked out to meet the traction requirement, or running trains, and the tariffs for the same are being negotiated

“About 50 MW electricity generated by solar is equivalent to 10 MW by thermal units. Instead of having 10 MW for six hours, Indian railways  trying to use solar power through the day

This can be done either through a mix of solar and thermal storage, or through renewable energy certificates, to increase the component of clean energy that is consumed.

Global examples

Technically, it is possible to feed power directly to the traction or overhead electricity lines of trains, thus bypassing the grid and it has been done in the UK by Network Rail, according to a report by Council of Energy Environment and Water (CEEW), funded by UNDP.

Their renewable traction energy team found a solution by connecting solar panels directly with the traction electricity lines, thus bypassing the grid.

In Italy, Green Rail has been involved in innovative sleepers for railways and has recently developed Green Rail Solar, wherein the track sleepers are equipped with a solar photovoltaic module that can generate up to 150 kWh of solar energy for every track km. This can provide energy to the railway station or the grid

Another country integrating renewable energy into running trains is Chile, where Santiago Metro will run on 42 per cent of solar energy from a 100 MW project being set up by SunPower and Total.

Recently, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation signed three power purchase agreements for 25 years with RUMS, Solar Power Developers (Mahindra, ACME Solar and Solenergi) and Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company Ltd.

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