Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) has harnessed 3200-KW of solar power during 2018 and thereby saved Rs. 1.88 crore of electricity expenses during the year.
Pranav Jyoti Sharma, chief public relations officer of NFR, said that while Guwahati railway station in Assam has already become a fully solar-powered station, off-grid solar plants are being installed in 41 other stations all over the zone.
This will add another 1140-KW of solar power. “Work is already complete at Barahu, Sonuabari and Amoni stations of Lumding division in the Northeast, while the plants in the remaining stations are to be commissioned by December this year. An annual yearly saving of Rs. 37.38 lakh is expected to be generated once these plants are commissioned,” he said in statement.
The NFR headquarters, which covers entire Northeast, Bengal and parts of Bihar is situated here at Maligaon.
Sharma said another 730-KW of solar projects were also being commissioned in Bengal and Assam. This includes the Rail Museum at Alipurduar (40 KW), RPF Barrack at Alipurduar (300 Kw) in North Bengal and Coaching department in Guwahati (200 Kw), which will also be commissioned by December this year.
“These Solar plants which are grid-connected types will yield an annual saving of about 60 lakhs,” he said.
NFR has also targeted for installation of another 2935 KW in the near future, for which finalization of terms of reference are in process.
This will include a plant of 1000-KW capacity in mechanical workshop in Bongaigaon, Dibrugarh, Kamakhya stations and a diesel shed at New Guwahati (all in Assam). “All these plants have been set up free of cost under the power purchase scheme, where railway will have to buy the solar power from the agency at rates fixed for a period of 25 years.
NFR has already installed solar power in most of its level crossing gates all over the zone,” he added.
The NFR is also replacing the conventional lights in all its 534 stations with LED lights.