The Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL) has launched a tender for the development of a grid-connected solar power pilot project with an energy storage system. The pilot project will be installed on vacant railway land of approximately 90 acres at Dahod in Gujarat. Based on the outcomes of the project, the Indian Railways will take its decisions on scaling up storage-based solar projects across the railway network. Developers will be required to provide a techno-economical, feasible, and innovative solution for the effective utilization of solar power during non-solar hours through energy storage technologies. Further, they must also submit a concept note and feasibility report for the probable solution. The feasibility report must include cost estimates for capex on a per MW basis for power generation and per MWh for an estimated project of 10 MW, 15 MW, and 20 MW, respectively. The deadline for the submission of bids is January 5, 2021.
The REMCL is a joint venture between the Indian Railways and RITES limited. In August 2020, the Indian Railways announced that it would develop 20 GW of solar projects on vacant lands to meet its energy demands. In November 2020, RITES limited announced a relaunch of its tender to develop 1 GW of solar capacity on vacant railway land after the first tender did not attract sufficient interest. The Indian Railways has also been exploring the early adoption of technologies that are relatively nascent in the country. In February 2020, the Indian Railways announced that it was developing a hydrogen-powered suburban train and floated an expression of interest for industry participation.