Indian Railways is turning to wind power

In a bid to cut down on rising power costs and carbon emissions, Indian Railways is turning to wind power. The behemoth is setting up two wind farm plants with a target of generating 21 MW wind energy by next year.

"We have finalised plans for setting up two wind farm plants in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu at an estimated cost of Rs 140 crores. Both the plants will generate a total of 21 MW wind power," said a senior Railway Ministry official.

The wind turbines plants will be set up along the coastal belt of Tamil Nadu and in the desert area of Jaisalmer. Each plant would generate 10.5 MW wind power and cost about Rs 70 crore.

India’s long coastline and vast desert expanses which are endowed with high wind power potentials are best suited for the wind energy generation projects.

Besides reducing the electric consumption, the wind power will also earn us carbon credits, said the official. Railways consume 5 billion units of power a year and spend about Rs 5,500 on power bills.

"We would supply the power to the grid and it would be adjusted against our power billing," said the official. Railways are expecting the plants to be operational by next year.

Railways have already made operational a 10.5 MW plant at Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. "We had saved about Rs 8 crore on power bills due to this plant," said the official.

Since wind power is eco-friendly, railways are expecting to earn about Rs 1 crore as carbon credits from the wind power ventures. The largest PSU with 14 lakh employees is going green by channelising its vast resources.

From designing bio-toilets, using bio-diesel and gravity valve technique to cutting down on water wastage, railways are undertaking a series of steps to reduce emissions and global warming.