Piyush Goyal, former head of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and current Minister of Railways, said state-backed mining company NLC India will be bidding aggressively to win PV capacity of the 3 GW solar to be tendered by his ministry soon. (Photo Credit: Press Information Bureau)
- Indian Railways will reportedly be launching a bidding process to tender 3 GW of solar power capacity
- This capacity will be installed on unused land belonging to the Indian Railways
- State-backed mining company NLC India plans to bid aggressively for these projects in its efforts to become a serious player in the renewable energy sector
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Indian Minister of Railways and Coal Piyush Goyal has hinted that the Indian Railways will be issuing tenders for up to 3 GW of solar power capacity to be developed on its unused land, helping the department expand its solar footprint. Local media quoted Goyal as saying that the bidding process will soon be launched, even though he didn’t mention any exact timeline.
State-backed mining company NLC India plans to bid aggressively for these solar projects. The company is aiming to become a serious player in the Indian renewable energy sector, Goyal said, and it is currently discussing the matter with Indian Railways.
NLC India has 191 MW of renewable energy capacity today, which comprises 140 MW of solar and 51 MW of wind power. By March 2018, the capacity will increase to 300 MW. NLC India is planning to have a cumulative portfolio of 4,251 MW by 2025. “So almost 24% of their 13,700 MW will be renewable energy,” said Goyal. According to the NLC India website, it aims to have 3,990 MW of solar power capacity by 2025.
Last year, Goyal, who was previously India’s Minister of New and Renewable Energy, had said that Indian Railways wants NLC India to set up solar power plants on vacant land to save it from encroachers. NLC was supposed to be setting up these plants and shift the equipment elsewhere if the Railways needed the land back. Railways would buy the clean energy generated by these plants, but NLC will be setting these up with its own money (see NLC India To Set Up PV Plants On Railway Land).
Indian Railways is aiming to install 1 GW of solar PV capacity and 200 MW of wind power plants by 2020-21 across zonal railways and production units. Working with other agencies, it plans to set up 400 MW of PV through ground-mounted solar power plants (see Large Rooftop PV For Indian Railways).