Train stations along one of the most used railway corridors in the world will soon have their dependence on traditional sources of energy loosened thanks to the power of the sun. The 750 stations in north India belonging to Indian Railways, one of the largest railway networks in the world (carrying more than 8 billion passengers annually) has a 25 percent renewable target by 2025. Tropical northern India is blessed with abundant sunlight with 300 sunny days a year, and solar power is a natural alternative to conventional electricity, much of which is generated using coal.
This project will be delivered by ABB India who will provide the solar inverters – the tech that converts the direct current generated by the solar module into alternating current can be used. ABB recently reached a milestone of 5 GW of solar inverters installed, supplying some 40 percent of India's solar power at approximately 13 GW.
ABB solar inverters for this project vary between 5kW to 50kW in performance depending on the size of the station, part of the ABB Ability of connected solutions, the customer can ensure uptime through remote management services. They will be part of the solar installations being set up by Azure Power. ABB set up its solar inverter manufacturing facility in India in 2012 and contributes to approximately 40 percent of the country's solar installations. ABB solar inverters have been widely used in the transportation sector, deployed, for instance, in the world's first fully solar powered airport in Kochi.
"Azure Power has superior rooftop solar power solutions for infrastructure, commercial and industrial customers in cities across India to lower their energy costs and meet their greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets. We are pleased to partner with ABB and Indian Railways in reducing GHG emissions through deployment of solar energy at railway stations across India" said Inderpreet S Wadhwa, Chairman and CEO, Azure Power.
"We are privileged to partner with Azure Power to support the renewable energy drive of Indian Railways," said Sanjeev Sharma, Managing Director, ABB India. "ABB has been an integral technology partner for railways for decades, providing technology from turbochargers to substations. The scope and scale of this order is a tribute to ABB quality for such critical installations, used by millions. Providing the latest technology to drive energy revolution in sectors like transportation is a part of ABB's next level strategy," he added.
Indian Railways moves more than 12,500 trains and 23 million passengers daily, equivalent to the population of Australia. The company operates more than 8,000 stations across the country and is looking at building solar plants to supply clean power for their operations. In the second stage the objective is a net zero energy concept wherein power is generated and consumed within the operations. As per reports, the Indian Railways has a current renewable energy generation capacity of 36 MW and plans to ramp it up to 1,000 MW.
An early entrant in the renewable energy landscape, Azure Power is among the longest tenured utility scale solar power producers in India, with one of the largest portfolios of operating projects in the country. They executed India’s first private utility scale solar project in 2009 and the first megawatt-scale solar rooftop project over a distributed area in 2013. Azure Power's rooftop solar project portfolio comprises 100 MW across 14 states in India.
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