There is a need to change the energy mix so that long term dependence on fossil fuel can be reduced : Suresh Prabhu
INVC NEWS, Delhi, The Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu launched the formal process to set up the Windmill Farm of 26 Megawatt in Rajasthan which is the biggest renewable energy initiative by Indian Railways. The project is being set-up by Railway Renewable Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL) which is a joint venture of Ministry of Railways and, it’s PSU, RITES Limited. The project is meant for generating electricity for the captive consumption of Indian Railways. The contract for this project was awarded by REMCL to INOX Wind Limited in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan. The Letter of Award of work was signed between REMCL and INOX Wind Ltd. in presence of Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Minister of State for Railways, Shri Manoj Sinha, MLA from Rajasthan Ms. Diya Kumari, Chairman Railway Board Shri Arunendra Kumar, Member-Electrical Railway Board Shri A.K. Mittal, Member-Engineering Railway Board Shri V.K. Gupta, Financial Commissioner Railway Board Smt. Rajalakshmi Ravikumar and Chairman-REMCL Shri Rajeev Mehrotra besides other officials from Railway Board, REMCL, RITES and INOX. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that sustainability of environment is one of the biggest challenges being experienced by human being and the entire globe is struggling to find its solution. Harnessing green energy is one of the steps forward to address this challenge. The Railway Minister pointed out that the Indian Railways is one of the biggest consumer of energy and, therefore, using even a small percentage of green energy by Railways, will make a substantial difference. We, therefore, have to explore new and renewable sources of energy for our energy basket. He said that there is a need to change the energy mix so that long term dependence on fossil fuel can be reduced. Shri Prabhu said that it is heartening to learn that REMCL has embarked upon the domain of renewable energy in a big way. Shri Prabhu called upon the Indian Railways to undertake a comprehensive and structured energy audit so as to ensure the best and optimal utilization of energy and also identify the energy saving potential. He said that the Indian Railways can take the help of Bureau of Energy Efficiency in this regard. He said that this audit should be broken down to the lowest possible units so that expeditious actions can be taken. He said that we should harness solar energy also in a big way and design our stations and buildings in such a way that their local electricity needs can be met through solar system. In fact, all such new structure should have inherent provision for harnessing solar energy for their day to day needs. He said that the deserts of Rajasthan and Gujarat can also be a good source of exploiting the solar energy. He said that there should be a sustained effort to intensify energy conservation measures. The Railway Minister said that railways should also work on mechanism to procure power at economical rates and should negotiate the most competitive price for its energy needs. He said that cutting down expenditure and generating profits wherever possible should always be undertaken so as to have enough funds to plough back to the system for expansion and growth. In his speech, the Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha said that in line with the vision of our Hon’ble Prime Minister for harnessing 1,00,000 MW of green energy, Railways need to ramp up efforts to set up solar and windmill plants of sizeable capacity. This can be achieved by Railway Energy Management Company (REMC) established to undertake such project at a faster pace. Setting up of the first 26 MW windmill plant by REMC is a welcome step. He congratulated REMC in taking this project and awarding contract in a time bound manner. In his speech, Chairman-Railway Board, Shri Arunendra Kumar said that Indian Railways is earnestly undertaking projects of renewable energy. As advised by the Prime Minister, Railways have already started solar power generation at Katra Railway Station. The Railways is, now, working for more windmill projects through joint ventures. In his speech, Member-Electrical, Shri A.K. Mittal said that earlier Railways has established its first windmill plant of 10.5 MW capacity at a cost of about Rs. 65 crore in Tamil Nadu in 2009 and had generated over 120 million units of electricity since its commission. He said that, later on, Ministry of Railways (MoR) and RITES Ltd. formed a joint venture company namely Railway Energy Management Company (REMC) in the shareholding pattern of 49% & 51% respectively for undertaking the projects of Indian Railways related to harnessing green energy like solar and windmill power plants, power trading activities, transmission lines and power evacuation planning, energy conservation initiatives, efficient coordination in power generation through captive power plant, energy audits etc. He informed that, accordingly, the works for setting of 157.5 MW windmill plants has been transferred to REMC for execution. Out of this, the contract of 25 MW of windmill in the State of Rajasthan has been finalized today by REMC with M/s INOX Wind Ltd. In his speech, Chairman-REMCL, Shri Rajeev Mehrotra said that this windmill project cost is estimated at Rs. 150 crores and will be completed in about 9 months. He said that REMCL will be launching other such projects including power trading in near future soon. The electricity generated from such windmill plants will be purchased by Railways at CERC determined rates. The current tariff from windmill has been estimated to be Rs. 6 per unit as against the average tariff of Rs. 6.57 per unit.